How and Why to Create an Employee Grievance Policy
How and Why to Create an Employee Grievance Policy

How and Why to Create an Employee Grievance Policy

Regardless of size or industry, every company will eventually have its share of disputes and disagreements among its employees. These conflicts tend to lead to problems for your business – from unmotivated workers all the way to negative publicity or even employee lawsuits.

The Role of Human Resources

HR should work closely with management to ensure a formal grievance procedure and policy is in place. Having a formal process gives your employees a practical, efficient way to express their concerns. This enables you to get in front of any problems quickly, so they don’t turn into a bigger issue for your company. Keep in mind, when you address grievances, employees feel respected which is important for engaging and retaining your workforce.

How to Create an Employee Grievance Policy

The main purpose of a grievance policy is to give your employees an easy way to bring up troubling or potentially sensitive issues with their managers about their work environment or interpersonal relationships with others at the company. Including your grievance policy in the employee handbook is another important step so your employees know exactly what to do when they run into an issue. It also lets new hires know during the onboarding process that you care how employees feel and that you take employee concerns seriously.

Your policy should cover everything from minor issues, such as employee disagreements or annoyances (like the guy who clips his fingernails at his desk). But it should also apply to more weighty problems, such as bullying, sexual harassment or managerial abuse.

In addition, you should have all your employees sign an acknowledgement indicating they’ve received and read the policy. And always keep a copy on file. Together, these documents can help your company defend itself should an employee file a lawsuit or state or federal complaint.

How to Create a Grievance Protocol

Having a policy in place is the first step to creating a formal grievance program to support your employees. Next you need to build out the actual protocol someone would follow in the event they need to file a grievance.

Your protocol should include:

  • A timeframe for making the complaint (typically five business days)
  • Who the employee should contact first (ex. their immediate manager) about their grievance and how they should be contacted (in person or in writing via a grievance form)
  • Who the employee should contact if the initial point of contact is the person their grievance is related to
  • What will take place if the problem cannot be resolved between the parties (ex. escalation to HR, legal department, vice president, etc.)
  • How to appeal the decision

How Paycor Helps

Paycor helps business leaders recruit, manage, develop, pay, train and retain their employees. Perform HR is our comprehensive people management solution that takes the burden off you and makes it easier to connect to your people. Your everyday processes become simplified, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work. To learn more, explore Paycor’s human resource management software.

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