What is a Grievance?
If an employee has a concern, problem, or issue at work, they can address this by raising a grievance. Grievances could be related to terms and conditions of an employee’s contract or could be related to their relationship with another colleague, for example, if their colleague has repeatedly behaved in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. However, it is important to note that these are examples and grievances can be raised for several reasons.
Grievances can be raised formally or informally. If an employee raises a formal grievance, it is important to follow the formal grievance procedure outlined in your Employee Handbook. However, we would recommend encouraging employees to raise an informal grievance with their line manager in the first instance to understand whether the matter can be resolved without being required to follow a formal process. This should help maintain good working relationships between employees and should hopefully avoid a formal grievance, which can be difficult for everyone involved.
Managing an Informal Grievance
Take it seriously
Even if a grievance is raised informally, it is important to take it seriously. When an issue has been raised, it is important to deal with it as soon as is reasonably practicable. It is a good idea to set up an informal chat to allow the employee to discuss their concerns in the first instance. Where possible, it is best to do this face-to-face.
Keep a record
Even though you are dealing with the issue informally, it is important to keep a record of how the issue was dealt with.
This should include information about the nature of the issue, what action was taken, what was discussed during any informal meetings, any agreed future actions and the reason for these.
It is important to follow up after the initial informal chat, to check in with the employee on any agreed actions and confirm if the matter has now been resolved for them. If it hasn’t been resolved, you may need to set up additional informal discussions to find out if there is anything else that will help resolve the issue.
If the issue cannot be resolved informally, it will likely be appropriate for the employee to submit a formal grievance.
If you would like some advice on how to effectively manage grievances, FD People would be delighted to help. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 221 2984. We also have plenty of FREE resources to help you and your business over at our FD People Hub.