For some reason, workplace conflict seems to bring out the inner diva in people. If you’ve ever seen the Snickers commercial where a hungry 30-something turns into Betty White, you understand. Workplaces have their own version of that where seemingly calm and sane people tend to lose it when they feel the need to air grievances.
Maybe it’s the fact that people just don’t know how to handle workplace grievances, or maybe it’s that employees try to put it off until they can no longer keep it in. Either way, this is something that goes downhill really quickly if it’s not handled the right way. Even as difficult as it can be to handle employee grievances, there is a right way to do it.
Town hall meeting
Translating a town hall meeting into a workplace format is easy to do and gives employees an open environment to speak freely. The beauty of this method is that it’s so casual. Town hall meetings are typically open to and non-exclusive, so depending on the size of your organization, you may want to open it up to the entire company, or just your department.
While an open forum may be ideal for some employees, others shrink back at the idea of talking out loud in front of others, especially when it’s to air a grievance. For employees who aren’t so open, an opportunity to talk one-on-one with a manager or HR manager can be the perfect opportunity.
Formal employee survey
Sometimes typing is better than speaking. It makes sense that employees may be more comfortable submitting responses electronically than in person since we live in a very digital age. They tweet instead of calling, post statuses instead of chatting at the water cooler and now, they can take an electronic survey instead of opening up in person. Encourage employees to post an anonymous review on Glassdoor, and respond to reviews so folks know you are listening.
Whether an employee leaves on good terms or because they feel their grievances are irreconcilable, you might as well get their final thoughts. It’s very likely that they have plenty to say and will be more open than those still employed. This information can reveal areas needing improvement so that you can make your business a better place to work in the long term.
Anonymous 800 number
An anonymous employee grievance line operated by a third party can be one of the most effective methods for getting honest responses. It may be old school, but people tend to think that even in an online survey, their answers can be traced back to them. An anonymous toll-free line provides what employees may see as the ultimate in anonymity.
Whether your workplace has had a number of Betty White diva moments or employees just don’t feel they can be open and honest, employees can air their grievances in a productive way.
How does your company handle grievances? Let us know below.