Resolving Problems: How To Write A Grievance Policy
Someone within your company has bought up a problem and you’re unclear what to do or who should be dealing with it. This is when you need some kind of grievance procedure that clearly outlines the steps that both the company and employee should take when dealing with complaints and problems. You shouldn’t wait until this situation arises to implement a grievance policy; it’s much better to be proactive rather than reactive.
When writing a grievance policy template, you need to consider the following main steps:
- How an employee goes about making a complaint or grievance – in the first instance this should be done in writing to their line manager outlining the grievance and providing detailed examples, depending on the nature of the issue. If the grievance is towards the line manager then the employee needs to be aware of the person next in line that they can go to.
- Once the grievance is received – the employee needs to be aware that they will hear back about their grievance within a certain time frame, ideally no more than 7 days. The manager receiving the grievance should then ensure that the grievance is acknowledged and speak to the individual before beginning an investigation into the allegation/grievance. Explain to the individual that you will now be looking into the grievance and give them a date that you will meet with them to discuss it further. Again, do not leave this hanging and give a deadline of 7 days.
- Investigation – do a thorough investigation into the grievance through interviewing people involved or by looking into associated facts/figures depending on the nature of the grievance.
- Draw a conclusion – after looking at all the facts and interviews, the relevant person needs to come to a conclusion as to how this grievance should be solved. This could mean disciplinary action for someone involved. Even if it was a mistake, you need to be able to show the individual who bought up the issue that it has been resolved, how it has been resolved and that they will not face any repercussions because of lodging this grievance.
- Inform the employee of the outcome – finally you need to meet with the employee and outline the decision and how you have come to this decision. Confirm this in writing as if writing back to their initial grievance letter and keep these on the employee’s personnel file. Ensure that you inform the employee that if they disagree with the outcome of the grievance that they have the right to appeal and that the appeal will be heard by a more senior manager. If they wish to appeal, they should do this within 7 days in writing.
If you outline all these steps in your grievance policy, it will help make sure all parties involved know what the company’s process is for dealing with issues when they arise and help to avoid any grey areas or confusion. Make sure you always follow your grievance procedure very closely or you may risk escalating the situation further.