Follow our step-by-step guide to managing grievances in your organisation here.

There will inevitably come a time within your organisation when an employee will raise a grievance. Facilitating regular conversations between employees and management, dealing with problems in an informal way as they arise, listening to your employees and recognising there is a problem are obviously the best way of dealing with issues before employees feel the need to formalise them.

But then problems escalate, and an employee raises a grievance. So what do you do?

  1. Follow the procedure set out in your grievance policy (if you don’t have one, contact us here). Can the grievance be solved informally? Encourage the aggrieved party to try and discuss it with the other party. You could host an informal meeting with everyone involved to facilitate the discussion.
  2. If the employee wishes to pursue a formal grievance, they need to put it in writing to their manager, or if their manager is the issue, to HR or the designated person who deals with grievances.
  3. Send a response confirming the grievance has been lodged and state how long the investigation will take.
  4. Meet with the employee who has lodged the grievance. What outcome do they want?
  5. Meet with the other parties involved and gather any relevant evidence. No matter your personal opinion, you need to be fair and respectful to all involved.
  6. Make a decision as to whether you plan to uphold the grievance and any action you plan to take, and inform the employee in writing,
  7. If the person does not agree with the outcome, they can appeal if there is new evidence, or if they feel the process wasn’t fair – they can’t just appeal because they don’t like the decision.
  8. Looking at the appeal, you can either uphold the original decision on the basis of new facts, partially uphold/partially overturn, or overturn. Again, write to the employee detailing the new decision and follow-up any actions which will be subsequently taken.

Handling a grievance is always a delicate situation so if you need support or training, get in touch! You can also read our post on conflict resolution here.

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