Employee Grievance Management System
Businesses witness new trends with every passing decade, with the new generations having a Whole new set of expectations from their workplace. The present generation believes in expressing it all, be it dissatisfaction or woes. In fact, as much as 22% employees feel disengaged at work due to problems like workplace conflicts. This has led companies to form a separate employee grievance management system to hear the employees’ concerns genuinely.
Gone are the days when the companies could gloriously promote their 9- 5 schedules and still see a flood of employee applications during hire. Now, an employee is considered as an asset and valued for the talent and quality of work he/she can offer to an organisation. Now, employees don’t just listen but have a fair chance of speaking their minds and express discomfort or their grievance openly.
What is Employee Grievance?
In general, employee grievance is any feeling of dissatisfaction/ grief/ unpleasant instance reported by the employees to the higher authorities. An employee can be dissatisfied about the job or the environment or is being subjected to harassment among countless other things.
Employee grievance is usually the mental state wherein the employee expected to be treated in a certain way but the employers were unable to provide that. It is not just about employees complaining that the coffee is bad or the seats are uncomfortable or the office is too old-fashioned. It is more about the issues that deeply affect the employees on a personal level or disrupt their mental well-being and productivity at the workplace.
Causes of Employee Grievance
It is proven that happy employees are more productive at work and achieve faster results than unhappy workforce. The causes of employee grievance can be mainly issues surrounding:
- Physical abuse
- Discrimination on basis of religion or gender or caste
- Contract problems like overworking or inaccurate description of job
- Salary status like absence of equal pay for all
- Health and wellbeing like harassment at workplace or non-ideal working conditions
- Changes without prior notice like firing employees or reduced salary
- Unhealthy employee-employer relations
- Poor organisational discipline
- Favouritism among employees
The causes of employee grievance can be too many to enumerate and alter with the changing industries. Whatever the cause, the right way to handle grievance is to approach it in an organised, systematic manner in order to maintain a happy environment at the workplace.
How does Employee Grievance Management System Work?
Employee grievance management system has been introduced in various organisations that allows companies to pinpoint the grievances, identify the causes and act on it. This is usually done by a separate committee that takes care of all the procedures required to properly address the employee concerns or workplace conflicts.
Here is how the employee grievance committee or management system works to ensure that employees are satisfied with their working environment, without any grievances.
Creates Grievance Filing System
The foremost step to establishing a grievance management map is to create a proper system wherein the employees can raise their issues promptly and in an unbiased manner. Most organisations approach this step by generating a simple format application or form that has an appropriate questionnaire for employees. The employee having an issue needs to fill this form and submit it with all the necessary details to the concerned authority who is responsible for forwarding the application/forms to the committee members for review.
The grievance form should have separate columns for filling the necessary personal details with a special focus on section that allows employees to mention their grievance elaborately.
A notable thing to remember is that these places and forms are accessible to all and are available to all the employees with their confidentiality maintained at all costs.
Addresses the Conflict
The next step is acknowledging or addressing the grievance by the committee members. This step involves dealing with the grievance in an informal manner. The committee asks the concerned employee and the management to solve the issue informally by mutual understanding. This is done for cases that can be conveyed and addressed from the brim, without going into much details. With an employee grievance management system in place, organizations can easily address/ resolve conflicts at their initial stages. In-turn boosting employees morale and establishing a healthy work environment.
Once the grievance is submitted to the members, the committee needs to analyze the situation in detail. The core aim of the employee grievance management committee is lending a fair ear to all the employees and really hearing them out. The employees sometimes even append the documents supporting their claims like mails and screenshots of conversations, especially in cases of legal issues like abuse or harassment at the workplace. After reviewing all the details in the form, the committee is responsible for thoroughly investigating the issue and going all out to look into the core of the matter.
Holds Formal Hearings
After investigating the concern, the employee as well as the person or team towards whom the grievance is addressed is given a date for a meeting. Both parties should be informed by mail or a formal letter about the date and time of the meeting. The board members, who are ideally from different tiers of the organisation, sit with both sides and hear their stand. The main aim of the meeting is to gather appropriate information and facts and try to come to a decision as soon as possible.
Enforces Fair Decisions
Make informed and fact based decisions with an employee grievance management system. This is the final decision-making step that is passed anonymously by all the board members after strict examining of both the sides. The evidence and appeals put forth in the formal meetings should be carefully checked and taken into consideration. The decision is then announced to the relevant parties in a proper format.
Executes and Reviews the Result
It is not necessary that all employees are happy with the decisions passed by the employee grievance committee and therefore, this step is highly crucial to complete the whole process. It is the responsibility of the core team to ensure that the decisions are being executed as fast as possible, without any hindrances or delays.
Taking the flexibility of the system further, employees should be given the right to appeal and seek a change in decisions if they are not completely satisfied by the final take. This should then be followed by formal meetings and a reviewal process in order to attain a satisfactory outcome.
Employee grievance Management system: An absolute necessity for organisations
Reports suggest that only 25% of employers believe that their workplace is free of conflicts. Not just that, 48% of adults have experienced abusive behaviour at their offices. These stats depict that an employee grievance system is not a luxury but a necessity for the smooth functioning of businesses catering to various industries.
An employee grievance management system uplifts the employee morale
Having a proper system to address employees’ concerns and grievances gives employees a sense of pride and reliability, uplifting their working spirit towards their company or organisation. With such systems comes a sense of belonging to the organisation and enhances the employees’ trust towards the management.
It Avoids Violent Conflicts
Workplace conflicts are not rare, they occur in almost all organisations at some point or the other. However, when the conflicts begin to take a toll on the productivity and mental well-being of the employees, then it certainly qualifies for grievance which needs to be redressed. A proper employee grievance management system can save organizations from such stressful situations and even save the organisations from spending a fortune during the process.
It helps to Amend Policies
Grievance management includes not just solving the raised grievances but also ensuring that proper policies and protocols are brought into effect to avoid the same in future. When grievances are submitted, the management becomes aware of the flaws of the system and can easily pinpoint the areas of improvement within their workplace. Thus, grievances can serve to be a boon for the betterment of work culture and the working environment within the organisation in the long run.
It Builds an Affable Environment
An organisation is built by the collective efforts of both employers as well as the employees. If there is tension among the management and employees, the company can never function smoothly nor can it ever achieve its maximum potential in terms of money as well as culture. Therefore, it is crucial that the employee-employer or employee-management relations are maintained and blooming at all costs. A committee that hears the woes and conveys proper decisions can help companies achieve a fruitful employer and employee relationship.
The present work culture is evolving and therefore, it is only clever to embrace the new mindset of providing employees a respected place within the company, where their voices are heard, their woes addressed genuinely and their mental peace goes uncompromised. Only then can companies build a loyal employee base and reach their dream-level productivity and profit goals.
An employee grievance management system is thus, an essential asset for the organization to ensure a happy workplace and an amiable working environment at all times .