Employee grievance alludes to the employee complaint of the company, as his/her expectations from the company and its management were not fulfilled. The employer is responsible to provide the employee with a secure working environment, reasonable job performance review, fair and regular salary payments and other compensation, respect, etc.

The employee is expected to perform their job duties in accordance with their employment agreement, confidentiality agreement and the company’s Code of Conduct.

When the employer’s expectations are not met by the employee than there are grounds for employee disciplinary action, but when the employee’s expectations are not met by the employer then an employee grievance can be launched.

Employee grievances may or may not be validated at the end of the investigation, but they should be reviewed diligently, as they influence the working environment and can decrease the employee performance and engagement. If the company does not take into consideration the employee grievances this can affect the company’s reputation negatively. It is essential that the companies manage employee grievances in an appropriate, fair and well pre-determined way.

Causes of employee grievances

Examples of what can cause an employee to launch a grievance include:

  • bad working conditions such as no clear production norms, uncertain workplace, broken relationship between the employer/management and employees;
  • unreasonable company policies for example for working overtime, internal job transfers, and payment structure; and
  • abuse of company’s policies and procedures by the management.

Recommendations for dealing with employee grievances

All grievances should be immediately acknowledged by the manager who must review them and, if necessary, take proper steps to eliminate the factors that caused the grievances. Excellent grievance management is a crucial element of a good personnel management. The managers can follow these recommendations to deal with grievances adequately:

  1. Act fast – as soon as the grievance arises, the manager undertakes actions to review and resolve it.
  2. Recognize the grievance – when the manager acknowledges the grievance he immediately shows good will to help in the process of finding a solution.
  3. Collect facts – the manager should notice all facts related to the grievance to find the best solution.
  4. Examine the factors that brought grievance – the manager should identify the real reason that created the grievance.
  5. Decide – when the manager knows all the factors of the grievance, the management policies should be analyzed and adjusted (if necessary) so that future grievance by the employees is prevented.