Five Steps To Handling Employee Complaints Explained

how to handle employee complaints

Some employees who voice complaints don’t want their supervisor to know. Telling their supervisor might make it worse, and can result in a loss of morale. An employee letter that describes a complaint can be turned into a member of human resource or management. This role is usually assigned to someone in Human Resources.

  • If the employee discusses the problem in generalities, probe for specific facts.
  • Employees who are happy and satisfied with their jobs are good employees.
  • Then again, you may find out that the supervisor is hovering inappropriately over a particular employee or that the employee hasn’t been properly trained.
  • By the time that an employee brings a complaint forward, he or she most likely is angry, Herrman said, because most people are conflict avoiders.
  • Whether you have a formal or informal complaint process in place or just handle complaints on a case-by-case basis, be sure you understand how to deal with employee complaints effectively.
  • Ask questions and try to understand what the employee wants to express.

A perceived transgression against a union contract is also grounds for filing a grievance. As the one responding to employee complaints you have a strict duty to respect your workers’ privacy. This includes the complaining employee and whoever they are complaining about. Avoid shaming an employee by raising the issue in a meeting or other public venue. Respect everyone involved, even if it becomes clear that some discipline is in order. However, you may find that even though you have only a few employees, you are spending a lot of time dealing with complaint-oriented issues. If this is the case, you may want to consider a more formal complaint procedure to help you get control of how complaints are handled.

Walsh’s staff turnover has been nonexistent for the past two years — a result, he contends, of “giving people a chance to vent — and then acting on their complaints promptly.” Barring resolution, management would invite complainants to discuss their issues with the next higher level of management-without repercussions. If the complaints really are petty, confront the complainer. He may not realize how his complaining affects people — one noisy misanthrope can harm morale company-wide.

Do Thank The Employee For Coming Forward

One of the most common problems in smaller companies is the lack of investigators or the lack of an internal committee that could take the responsibility of looking into the complaint and gather facts. The following information should be included in the complaint document. Ensure confidentiality of their identity and their personal safety in case of any harassment.

Each group has its own particular way of living together, and the grievance procedure helps to develop this group culture. At the same time, you should not resort to your first knee jerk response.

But while it’s totally normal to feel that sense of apprehension, it’s also important to move past it, because most of the time, filing a complaint is the only way to resolve the situation. If employees feel that they are being treated with respect and fairness, they are more likely to accept the resolution you suggest, even if it is not exactly what they wanted or expected. Gather additional information for checking tentative solutions for finding out the best possible one. For this, or the past experience of the executive in similar cases maybe helpful. Company’s own record of grievances, if maintained can also be helpful in this respect.

UCIRO or your HR consultant are also options for these types of complaints. This allows the employee to express his or her expectations and feel heard. In addition, it gives you an idea of what a satisfactory outcome looks like to the employee. If either wishes, the employee and/or the supervisor may seek assistance in resolving problems from the manager of the compliant procedure Dianne Newman, Manager, Human Resource Services.

how to handle employee complaints

Here are a few of her words of wisdom for employee relations leaders and workplace investigators. In other words, “If an employee files a charge of discrimination or otherwise complains about workplace practices, treat the person as if the charge had not been filed,” Gamlem said. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in fiscal year 2010, surpassing race discrimination. There are many things leaders should not do when an employee complains about harassment or other wrongdoing in the workplace, according to experts, such as discussing the complaint on a social networking site. Find the latest news and insights on how employers are responding to potential changes to state and federal abortion laws, as well as members-only resources for supporting your employees. Talk to them about the investigation you conducted and the facts that you gathered in the process. If their claim is correct, then assure them that action will be taken as soon as possible.

The Best Way To Manage Employee Complaints Is To Manage Your Company Culture

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  • Deal with complaints in a way that reflects their severity.
  • We hand-pick the best HRIS software matches for you to review.
  • The supervisor is responsible for correcting work-related problems and seeking the help of appropriate offices or persons when necessary.
  • In addition, they should schedule a follow-up discussion with the employee to assess progress.
  • The four most common issues are harassment, discrimination, theft, and violence, and if they are handled improperly, the results can be frightening, dangerous, and costly.
  • An even better alternative is to file complaints anonymously – that’s where DoNotPay can help.
  • Almost everyone agrees that it is better to prevent fire than trying to stop them after that have started and the same philosophy applies to grievances.

Keep in mind how the business has handled similar employee relations problems in the past, so you can be sure your response is consistent. Is there a workplace code or policy that has been breached? Are there extenuating circumstances that you need to take into account? Check out our blog for the latest employee relations and workplace investigations insights, trends, and news. From the #MeToo movement to best practices and personal anecdotes from the field, the HR Acuity blog is here to help you stay in the know on all things employee relations.

Thoroughly Investigate Complaints

Natalie advises that the complaints ER needs to handle are generally those can create liability for an organization. Natalie has seen more and more organizations use consistent steps, documentation and process as they respond to an allegation. If you don’t document the facts as they occur, you’ll be at a disadvantage as you head into litigation. Once you gather the facts about the complaint made by the employee, schedule a follow-up meeting with the employee. For smaller complaints, you can do the investigation with the help of your committee. Get to know both sides of the complaint and gather opinions from other teammates and colleagues. Make note of specific details and separate your facts from opinions.

how to handle employee complaints

Depending on the nature of the complaint, there are several best practices for managers to keep in mind when following company policy to handle complaints. As an administrator of the human resources department, it is your responsibility to create a channel through which your employees can reach out to you. Here’s a simple guide for you to deal with employee complaints at your workplace. As a small business owner, you have a responsibility to both your company and your employees to learn how to address the challenges of responding to your employees’ complaints. Learning how to navigate, address, and defuse complaints will make your company more productive, harmonious, and cost-efficient. There are many approaches to handling employee complaints, but six general strategies form the basis for investigating possibly subjective complaints.

Ask Questions

The lack of an extra microwave in the lunch room for those people who insist on cooking fish is likely reducing morale and increasing conflict. There are always going to be employee complaints because everyone wants something different out of their workplace experience. The key is honing in on common complaints and digging deeper into them to figure out how to better accommodate employees. If your employees are complaining that they’re expected to read their managers’ minds, it’s time to improve the communication within your company. Poor communication can affect productivity, morale, workflow, and more.

They often stem from employee perceptions and are relatively easy to resolve. Have a system in place for resolving complaints quickly and consistently, before they’re allowed to fester. Make sure your employee handbooks, contracts and work agreements include rules for hearing and settling disputes. If someone says, “The women in the office are being harassed,” ask for specific examples. Encourage your managers to give regular feedback on performance. The number one gripe of most employees is lack of input on how they’re doing.

Wonder what outcome/solution for a grievance is most reasonable? The Grievance Guide lists decisions of arbiters in disputes on all the most sensitive labor-management-relations topics. To end on a positive note, the last half of the three-hour picnic is spent discussing possible solutions and giving one another well-deserved praise.

Want Your Issue Solved Now?

After examining and investigating the matter at his level he can pass it on to the higher level with his findings and recommendation. Similarly, action can be taken by the executives at the middle level, if the matter is beyond their jurisdiction. The top-level management has the responsibility to decide cases which are having company wide implication. In this they may be even assisted by personnel or labor officers with their advice and the information collected and maintained. The top-level management must establish the broad policies and rules, which may form the basis for handling grievances. In some companies labor unions assume the responsibility of getting the grievances redressed, particularly at the middle and top-level management. Investigate – Make sure that all of the facts in the situation are uncovered.

Consider whether there is another way to solve the problem. However, sometimes the employee’s problem may be with their manager or direct supervisor. It’s important to ensure that employees have a high level of trust in HR, a department often seen as something of an enemy.

No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable in dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc. does not have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. does not warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Once you’ve gathered all the information and fully examined the situation, formulate and decide on a solution. You may want to vet your idea with other senior members of your organization or even with your employees. If your method for receiving complaints is a box or other receptacle, make sure it is in a central location that is easily accessible to all employees.

how to handle employee complaints

Often, this is the Human Resources department or someone within it. Discretion is key, as employees will want to be assured that they are submitting their grievances in confidence. Provide an environment for employees that allows them to come forward and voice their concerns. how to handle employee complaints Never consider any employee complaint to be insignificant, as some may be serious enough to get authorities involved. We do recommend having a bullying and harassment policy, however. These are serious issues and should be treated as such by everyone in the company.

The review and resolution may be carried out informally or may, at the employee’s option, involve the filing of a written complaint. The main objective of this session is to help you handle employee complaints successfully so that you and your employees can get past the problems that lead to complaints and get on with your work. Sometimes, after an incident, you need to bring on a mediator in addition to providing employees with training.

Treating individuals fairly and respectfully throughout the process is important. There will always be some individuals who complain simply because they can, but in all situations management should consider these five steps to a successful resolution. Employees may experience issues with their paychecks or benefits that must be addressed with HR. These may include questions about deductions from their paychecks.

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