HR Glossary  >   Grievance


What is Grievance?

A grievance is when the employees are dissatisfied with the company’s policies, working conditions, manager’s behavior, etc. It generally occurs when there is a difference in what is expected and what is received from the company. When employees have concerns, it's crucial to tackle them appropriately by the leadership team. Because it not only lowers employee motivation but also affects the work environment. If these issues aren't resolved, they could lead to significant disputes in the company, which can also demotivate other employees. In order to keep the employees motivated, many companies have a grievance policy in place to ensure timely addressing of their grievances.

For example,

  • An organisation has 50 employees and 4 departments.
  • The performance analysis of all the employees of different departments are going on.
  • From all the departments, the deserving employees are rewarded and given appraisals.
  • One of the employees who didn't receive the appraisal raised a grievance against the manager and the management as he felt discriminated against by the other employees.


What Are Grievance Procedure And Redressal?

When employees raise a grievance, it's the employers' responsibility to resolve the issues as soon as it is made. The way to handle grievances can be different for organizations according to their type and working conditions. However, the way to address and solve the employees' issues is the grievance procedure and redressal.

Companies, in order to effectively manage the problems, need an employee grievance policy that holds all the formal procedures. Without any set rules, it could be difficult for the authorities to address the issues. Also, the management should clearly describe the grievance procedure and policy to the employees and make it easily approachable.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the causes of employee grievance?

Some of the common causes of employee grievance are:

  • Organizational changes in working hours, policies, or rules may not suit the employees and raise grievances.
  • Unsatisfactory salary or incentive.
  • Biases among employees.
  • Lack of safety and disciplinary policies.

What are the types of grievances?

The three common types of grievances are:

  • Personal grievance: The grievance of the individual employee against the management. These grievances can cover various issues, such as unfair treatment, discrimination, harassment, contractual disputes, workplace safety concerns, or issues related to job responsibilities. Personal grievances are often specific to the experiences or concerns of a single employee and may require resolution through a formal grievance procedure or human resources intervention.
  • Group grievance: The group of employees raises grievances against the same problem. A group grievance involves multiple employees collectively raising concerns about a common issue or problem within the workplace, such as workplace conditions, salary issues, changes in company policies, or any other concern that affects a group of employees. Group grievances are more effective and significant than personal grievances, highlighting systemic problems within the organisation.
  • Union grievance: The grievance against policies raised by unions. It is seen rarely because unions don’t exist in a corporate setup. But in this type, the entire union complains against the management generally over contract misinterpretation.

Who is responsible for handling the grievances in the organization?

Most commonly, the human resource management handles the grievances in the organization involving the managers. However, as per the grievance policy of the organization, that can change.

What are the ways to effectively handle employee grievances?

Some ways to handle employee grievances effectively are:

  • Frame strong policies for grievances.
  • Investigate the situation appropriately.
  • Involve all related members and discuss.
  • Keep records of all the details in writing.

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