What is a grievance?Grievance is formal complaint which demonstrates any kind of dissatisfaction in an employee, arising out of the factors which are related to his job.
How can a grievance be communicated?The communication of grievances should be done formally. It can be communicated via:
- A written document
The organizations which allow the employees to see the top level executives directly with their grievances are called to have “Open Door Policy”. Many of the lower level employees do not find it very comfortable to approach the top executives directly.
The organizations in which the employee is required to talk to his immediate senior about his grievances, who either offers a solution or escalates the grievance are called to have “Step Ladder Policy” for grievance handling.
Why is it important to have a grievance handling procedure?Grievance handling process gives the aggrieved employees an opportunity to communicate their feelings and problems to the concerned people. These people can then address the grievances as per the policies. A good grievance handling system brings following benefits to the organization:
a.) It develops the trust of employees in the organization, its motives and policies
b.) It helps in addressing the employee’s problems before they become too big
c.) It helps in improving the over all work conditions and atmosphere
d.) It helps in developing a committed work force and improving the productivity
e.) It helps in identifying the areas of improvement and taking the required actions
What are the important steps in grievance handling procedure?The important steps in grievance handling procedure are:
i.) Accepting the grievance and acknowledging it
ii.) Carefully listening the problem
iii.) Understanding the redefining the problem to ensure that both the parties are at the same level of understanding
iv.) Gathering the information – all facts and figures .
vi.) Offering the best solution
vii.) Follow up
What can be the causes of grievances?The factors causing the grievance can be divided into:
i.) Management policies
ii.) Working conditions
iii.) Interpersonal factors
Grievances due to management policies can be sub-divided into:
c.) Leave policies
d.) Lack of growth in career
e.) Conflicts in the roles
f.) Unmatched skills and responsibilities
g.) Disciplinary action
Grievances due to working conditions can be sub-divided into:
a.) Unhygienic work environment
b.) Safety issues
c.) Insufficient equipments
d.) Indiscipline and wrong approaches to discipline
e.) Unrealistic expectations
Grievances due to interpersonal factors can be sub - divided into:
a.) Inability to get along with superiors
b.) Poor relations with team members
d.) Impractical approach to life
Explain the effects of grievances on:a.) Employees
Following are the effects of grievances on each of the above mentioned parties:
iv.) Low productivity
i.) Labour unrest
iv.) High labour turnover
i.) Low productivity
ii.) High wastages
iii.) Increased costs
What are the main objectives of having a grievance handling procedure?The main objectives of having a grievance handling procedure are to:
i.) Solve the problems when they are really small rather than letting them grow big and becoming insolvable
ii.) Improve the overall work conditions
iii.) Develop a happy work force
iv.) Keep the concentration on productivity
v.) Tackle human problems like – absenteeism, demotivation etc.
What are the important features of a good grievance handling procedure?The important features of a good grievance handling procedure are:
i.) It confirms with existing legislation
ii.) It is fairly acceptable to all – it provides justice to the employees, reasonable authority to the manager and allows adequate participation of the union.
iii.) It is simple and easily understood by all. Employees have sufficient information about the process and the authorities who can be approached in case of a problem.
iv.) It is not a very long process
v.) It is prompt and quick – takes as little time as possible.
vi.) The supervisors and union leaders are well trained to handle it.
What are the different ways to discover a grievance?Different ways to discover a grievance are:
i.) Open door policy
ii.) Exist Interviews
iii.) Suggestion boxes
iv.) Opinion surveys
Why is it important to handle the grievances in a timely manner?It is extremely important to handle the grievances in a timely manner. Justice delayed means justice denied.
- The delay in settlement frustrates and de-motivates the employee
- The delay reflects badly on the management’s intentions and seriousness to settle
- It affects the overall work atmosphere
- It lowers the productivity
- It increases the cost and wastage
What precautions would you suggest to the HR Manager to make the grievance handling process more effective?- Give the employee an opportunity to speak openly
- Conduct the meeting in private
- Listen carefully with sincere interest without interruption or arguments
- Don’t just go by the symptoms – try to establish the actual reason
- Check the policy and records – don’t jump to conclusions
- Provide a timeline for the solution and act within it – don’t delay
- Provide an amicable, mutually acceptable solution
- Do not publicise the issue.
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