14 Key Principles of Handling Employee Grievances

Employee handling grievances must be based upon well-considered principles. Such principles are not absolute insurance of success in dealing with grievances because laws of human behavior are nonexistent.

principles of handling employee grievances
principles of handling employee grievances

However, principles do work most of the time. hence, it is desirable to search them out and then rely on them as guides.

What are the Principles of Handling Employee Grievances?

In the field of handling grievances, a number of principles have been distilled from the experience of many companies. Some of these discussed below:

1. Have Interview

Have In handling grievances, a considerable amount of time must be spent talking to employees, gathering data from them, and passing on various types of information.

Such talks, to be most effective, should follow definite patterns and adhere to some well-tested rules.

2. Constructive Attitude

Wise managers seek to develop an attitude towards employees that will result in gaining their confidence.

Also, avoid giving the impressions that subordinate the ignorant.

Managers should not underestimate the intelligence of employees.

The management should give the impression that the viewpoints of employees are considered to be fair unless proved otherwise.

Management should also display a sincerity in the problems of employees and a constructive willingness to help.

Related: Top 8 Methods of Knowing About Employee Grievances.

3. Be Aware of Responsibilities

In handlings grievances, all executives must have confidence in themselves, be fully aware of their responsibilities, and be willing to carry these burdens.

Such a positive attitude must be apparent to employees in order to gain their respect and cooperation. An executive should not lack self-confidence.

Employees do not like to place their grievances in insecure or incompetent hands.

In dealing with grievances, they must give the impression of serious consideration.

There must be no light-minded attitude or flippant remarks about the grievances of employees tey are no joking matter.

4. Consider Long-Run Effects

In handling grievances, it is important that consideration be given not only to effects in the present but also to the long run and sometimes far distant implications.

As a consequence grievances should be handled in terms of their total effect upon the organization and not solely their immediate or individual effect.

5. Human Nature

It is well to remember that human nature will not change much, if at all.

People will become neither much better nor much worse.

In handling grievances, people should be taken for what they are including their strengths and their weaknesses.

6. Effects of the Past

A manager should weigh decisions not only in terms of their future impact but should also give consideration to what has happed in the past.

Related: Types of Disciplinary Actions Applied by Companies.

7. It Should be Demonstrably Fair

The attitude of supervisors is important here. All supervisors should accept the employee’s right of appeal as long as no bypassing is involved.

In a unionized concern, supervisors should also accept the employee’s right to be respected, if they so desire, by a union official.

8. The Provisions should be Clear Cut

No grievances procedures can be expected to work satisfactorily unless there are definite provisions, consistently adhered to, determining what is to be done, when, and by whom.

Unless these provisions are set up, made known, and consistently adhered to, it is unrealistic to expect that employees will cooperate by expressing their dissatisfactions to the appropriate authority, in the correct form, and at a suitable time.

9. It Should be Simple

The complaint and grievances procedure should be sufficiently simple so that it can easily and quickly be explained to each new employee before he begins working for the company, and so that it can be really understood even by a person who has had relatively little formal education.

10. It Should Function Promptly

Prompt action is not only desirable from the component’s point of view, it is also in management’s interest. Undue delays can be costly in the growth and spread of employee dissatisfaction.

grievance handling procedure
grievance handling procedure

While an employee is waiting to see what, if anything management will do about his complaint, his dissatisfaction is apt to loom large in his mind.

It is more realistic to recognize the psychological fact that anything in his mind.

It is important to him. He will brood over it and magnify its significance.

Furthermore, any unnecessary delay constitutes another grievance.

9 Effective Manager Steps in Handling Employee Grievances.

11. Conformity with law

The procedures should be in conformity with the existing law. It should statutory provisions.

The procedure may be incorporated in the standing orders or collective bargaining agreement of the organization.

12. Acceptability

The employee grievances procedure must be acceptable by all and should, therefore, be developed with mutual consultation among management, workers, and the union.

13. Training

The success of the procedure also depends upon imparting training to the supervisors and union representatives in handling employee grievances.

This will help to ensure the effective working of the grievances procedure.

14. Follow Up

The working of the grievances procedure should be reviewed at periodical intervals by the HR department.

The department should periodically review the procedure and introduce the essential structural changes making it more effective.

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