Every employer wants to have happy, motivated and engaged employees at work. The reality is, that employees will also have gripes, moans and from time to time more serious complaints.
We all know it’s natural for people to “get things of their chest” sometimes and there are always the employees who are “never happy”. As an employer it’s important to be alert to the fact that some complaints, if not dealt with properly, can easily escalate into far bigger issues.
When they’re not recognised and handled correctly, even gripes and grumbles can escalate enough to result in an employment tribunal.
Striking a balance
A healthy workplace culture allows employees to be able to raise complaints about minor issues which are troubling them and know they will be listened to. It’s equally important to make sure that continual complaining about what are essentially trivial issues is not encouraged.
If there’s not an outlet for employers to raise concerns, then employees can become frustrated, which can lead to resignations and in the worse cases, claims for constructive dismissal.
Where employees don’t have an outlet where they can talk over concerns, then major matters may be kept hidden until they result in bigger issues such as bullying and discrimination.
When to act
It’s difficult to know what constitutes a complaint and what to do about it. Complaints come in many forms, including verbal complaints made in meetings, appraisals or in passing comments and via e-mails or text messages.
If a Manager or employer is unsure of the significance of a grumble or comment made by an employee, they should take control of the situation, firstly by asking questions to see if an immediate resolution can be reached. If an informal resolution can’t be reached then the employee should be made aware of the company grievance policy where they can move the matter to a more formal basis.
Dealing with a formal grievance
The most important part of handling a formal grievance is making sure you follow your own internal company procedures and follow a fair and balanced process.
If you’d like more details on how to work through the process or to draw up a grievance procedure, please just get in touch.