How to Make a Grievance Policy

No matter what kind of company it may be, employees will always encounter problems. However, there are some companies that do not point out how employees can share these problems, which then leads to these employees in handling problems through their own means; even if it could possible damage the company culture.

Which is the reason why there should be a  company policy that caters to how employees are able to share their grievances as well as how they are going to be handled. This article is going to focus on how you are going to go about in creating this type of policy.

How to Create an Employee Grievance Policy

In about every company, there will always be complaints and conflicts between people, the problem is how they should be handled. Which is the reason why there has to be grievance policy so that employees will be able to easily voice out their problems and so that they can be handled easily. So follow these steps to help you create an efficient grievance policy for your workplace that your employees will definitely appreciate:

Identify the Key Points of Contact

Not everyone working in your company is qualified to handle employee-related issues. So you’re going to have to choose the people that have the skills, knowledge, and experience that will help them properly address any concerns that your employees may have.

You also have the option of forming a grievance committee that will be made of a professional group of people within your company. The committee will be the one in charge of taking care of any problems that your employees are facing and deal with them in the appropriate manner that you expect.

After you’ve assigned either a person or committee, then the next thing you are going to have to do is to make sure that your employees know how to contact these people should they encounter any sort of problem. The best way to do this is by placing in their contact information in the employee handbook so that employees may be able to pull up the information whenever they need to.

Outline the Steps Employees Should Take Before Filing a Grievance

Not every employee grievances are the same, some may be more severe than others. Also, the methods of how a particular business handles employee grievances may not work out well with your company.

So you’re going to have to think about the best way on how these employees are going to approach you or the people in charge of handling grievances before they file the complaint. For example, you can point out that an employee will have to address the other person involved before filing for the grievance. If that doesn’t work or if the employee is uncomfortable with that method, then you can always point out that the employee may contact his/her supervisor to talk about the problem.

If by chance that the issue has yet to be resolved, then you can inform the employee that he/she may contact the appropriate person or people who are in charge of handling the problems within your company. Whatever your process may be, you have to make sure that it’s well documented and can be easily understood by your employees. This way, they can find alternate solutions instead of having to constantly rely on the authority figures in charge of handling their grievances.

Determine How to Handle the Filing of a Grievance

Whenever your receive a grievance report, you are going to have to investigate it, regardless as to whether or not you think that the investigation isn’t required. The employee that has submitted the grievance must be informed about the process of the investigation on how the progress is coming along. This will help the employee understand that the matter is being taken seriously. The accused must also be informed of the results of the investigation, even if it ends up with his/her termination.

By doing all of this, you are showing these people that you are taking their complaints into serious consideration and that you are following the grievance policy that your company has created in order to create a positive working atmosphere. Plus, it helps those employees who have been done wrong by assuring them that their problem is something that will be taken seriously.

While these kinds of situations are hard to deal with, it’s essential that you address your employees’ concerns fairly and promptly. If you ignore these issues, then don’t expect your employees to be happy or to provide you with the performance that you expect out of them.

Document the Grievance Policy and Add it in the Employee Handbook

You’re definitely going to want to place the grievance policy within the employee handbook so that your employees will know what to do in order for them to properly submit any problems that they come across to the right authorities within your company.

In addition, you should have all of your employees sign an acknowledgement letter which states that they have received, read, understood, and agree to the grievance policy that you have come up for your business.

With the help of this policy you will be able to make sure that your employees understand what they have to do if ever they have to file a complaint, and it protects your company from any employee that files a regulatory charge or lawsuit.

Spread Your Newly Established Policy

Share the grievance policy that you have just created with all of your employees. Make sure that everybody understands how they are to go about in the necessary steps for whenever they have to report their concerns. If these employees have questions regarding your policy, then you should state that you are willing to discuss with them about it to help clarify how they can go about in reporting their concerns and how their concerns are going to be handled.

Follow Through

If you made a policy and yet you don’t even follow it, then do you really expect your employees to trust you or your company?

Make sure that you stick with it so that you show your employees that you’re actually willing to hear about the problems and that you’re going to take them by heart.

So any concerns that come your way have to be immediately addressed, even if you think it’s something that doesn’t even have to be reported in the first place. Show your employees that you are the type of employer who is always ready to take on their problems as doing so will help increase morale as well as the image of you and your business.

Have an Open-Door Environment in Your Workplace

Having a grievance policy is good, but that’s only if your employees are actually comfortable in relegating their problems to you or the appropriate authority figures within your company.

If your employees are worried about any kind of retaliation, then they are never going to raise their concerns. Something like this could lead to multiple employees submitting their resignation letters or they can decide to file a regulatory charge or lawsuit against you or your business due to an issue that could have easily been resolved if you were aware of it.

By having open communications where your employees can talk to you at any point in time, it will help your employees feel more secure and it should easily help them voice out whatever problems that they are encountering in the workplace. Plus, doing this will make you seem more approachable and employees are most likely going to give you more details as well as remain honest throughout their entire conversation with you.

After the employee is done sharing his/her concerns, then ensure that the employee is thanked for providing feedback and that you tell him/her that you will follow through with a resolution in order to close out the concern. Even if it’s not something that needs to be addressed with another employee, you should discuss the issue with the concerned employee and find a way to resolve the issue in a professional manner.

policy template

How to Improve Your Company’s Grievance Process

If your business already has a grievance policy, then here are the things that you are going to have to do in the event that you would like to make major changes and improvements to it:

  • Be sure to update your company’s grievance policy. This would make sense as there are many new problems that your employees may encounter that you’ll want to put up in the policy.  So it’ best that you update your policy at least ever 2 to 5 years and how you update it will depend on the changes in the organization leadership, employment law, and workplace composition
  • Minimize employee grievances by making sure that your company has a functional performance appraisal system, employee survey, and effective supervisory training. All of these will help ensure that employees know what to do should they encounter problems, or it can r allow them to easily voice out they come across.
  • You company’s grievance process should be evaluated against the five green tape criteria for effective rules – the purpose and logic of the grievance process, the quality and clarity of written requirements, the level of control, the consistency of grievance process application, and the extent in which the submitted employee grievance is understood. If there are any weaknesses in any of these criteria, then that is an sign which calls for immediate action, whether through the redesign of the grievance policy, communications, or even through proper training.
  • It’s best that you rename your company’s grievance process to an appeal process. The term “appeal” is less divisive and more neutral term as it states that it can handle any situations that your employees cannot handle.

The Importance of Having a Grievance Policy

Although this has already been stated before, the point of having a grievance policy is so that  employees are able to easily voice out any of their problems to the right authority figures in your company. It helps them know how they are going to go about in filing their concerns and to help them understand whether or not their situation actually requires them to create and submit a report.

The policy is meant to help employees so that they  will feel more open in sharing the issues that they are dealing with in the workplace. Also, employees will appreciate the fact that their employer is willing to help them with their issues, allowing the employer to gain respect and possibly even improve employee performance and productivity.

If you would like to learn more about this particular topic or anything that’s similar to it, then all you have to do is go through our available articles so that you can gain the information that you need.

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