4 Steps to Handle Employee Complaints Successfully
No matter the business or industry, it’s up to HR professionals to ensure that employee complaints are handled in an efficient and professional manner. Otherwise, your employees are likely to feel ignored and undervalued by the very organization they devote a significant portion of their lives to.
Employee complaints can also alert you to problems in the company. As the business grows, key decision makers can lose touch with how things are running on the ground. By systematically addressing complaints, you have a much-needed window into the state of processes at all levels of the company. Furthermore, you’ll more frequently manage to avoid any issues escalating into disgruntled employees and high staff turnover.
This blog post will give you all the information you need to set up a process for employees to lodge complaints, categorize those complaints, and then review and address them according to their magnitude and gravitas. Following these four steps will simplify and improve the HR department’s process for dealing with employee complaints.
1. Set up a system for employees to voice their complaints
Do you have an existing system in place for employees to communicate any complaints or grievances? If not, this should be a priority. Make sure that everyone is aware of the system, and that they are guaranteed confidentiality. The last thing you want is for workers to become increasingly unhappy because they don’t have a channel to vent their frustrations, or fear reprisal or embarrassment in front of their peers. The details of your system, such as who to go to and the exact process of lodging a complaint, should be included in your employee handbook.
2. Categorize complaints
Obviously, not all complaints are of equal importance; someone complaining about the lack of a pinball machine should not be given the same urgency as a case of sexual harassment. As such, you need to create distinct categories, each with their own process for how (and when) they will be dealt with. Generally speaking, complaints fall into one of three broad groups: working conditions and safety; unreasonable management policies; and violations of rules and policies.
3. Address complaints
Now that you have a system for receiving and categorizing employee complaints, it’s time to actually do something about them. When addressing any complaint, the first course of action should be to inform the employee that they have been heard and that the company is working on a solution. Then, once you have investigated the matter to ensure it checks out, consult with all key stakeholders and assess the best course of action. Solve the problem as soon as possible—the longer it takes, the more likely employee morale will suffer.
4. Review outcomes
We suggest reviewing the outcome of the situation one to three months after the complaint has been addressed. Not only can you follow up on whether the employee feels satisfied with the outcome, it also gives you the opportunity to review your complaint managing process and identify any areas that can be improved.
Implementing a system for addressing employee complaints is a highly effective way to reduce staff turnover. Contact TrueConnect to find what else you could be doing to ensure your workforce is harmonized and reaching their full potential. TrueConnect is a voluntary employee benefit solutions service that offers an easy, quick, and effective way to help employees with their personal finances. Book a free consultation today.