07 April 2021

How to avoid grievances

More often than not grievances are challenging, unpleasant, stressful and time consuming for all parties involved. So, it makes sense to do everything we can to avoid them! With that in mind, here some top tips for avoiding grievances in your business.

Provide management training

Managers who receive basic training are far less likely to encounter grievances and they better understand how to effectively manage individuals and teams. They will have gained the skills and knowledge that will support the prevention and, if necessary, the early resolution of any issues that do arise.

Develop a culture of listening and seeking feedback

Developing a culture where employees’ are invited to and are comfortable to share their feedback is important. This ensures you will understand and be able to manage any concerns or issues before things get serious. This culture should not only be based on formal meetings or processes for seeking feedback. It should also be present in terms of manager’s everyday behaviour. Managers who talk to employees often, have an open-door policy and are approachable are far less likely to receive formal grievances. If someone does raise a concern informally in this way, managers have the opportunity to actively listen, without judgement. To understand what their concern is and ask what they would like to happen. We are not always able to carry out the wishes of our employees, but at this stage we can have a reasonable conversation as to why this is, before things get more emotional.

Ensure your processes are clear and fair

A feeling of unjustness is the cause of many grievances, but can be easily prevented by putting in place clear and transparent policies and processes, and ensure they are followed. This will prevent resentments building up over perceived or real favouritism or inconsistency in decision-making.

If all else fails

If you do receive a grievance from an employee, be open-minded as to what can be learned all round. Appoint an objective manager, who has been trained or seek advice as to how you can effectively manage the grievance. This is still an opportunity to demonstrate a positive culture of fairness and openness to listen. If you would like to discuss this further, please get in touch or visit our website for more information.