Note on Employee's Grievances, Method and Process of Handling Grievance

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Employee's grievances



Voice of employees in relation to dissatisfaction state is grievances. Grievances are raised due to low pay scale than the market rate of pay for the same level. This often brings complaints in written form. Grievances are employee's perception of unfair treatment on the job. So. it is concerned with human resource management. It is the feeling of dissatisfaction among the employees in working condition in the organization. The causes of grievances can be management practices, labor union practices, working condition, organization culture, personality traits and interpretation differences

According to the Keith Davis," Grievances is any real or image feeling of personal injustice that an employee has abounded the employment personal relationship."

According to the Wendell French," Grievances is a formal complaint filed by an employee following and established grievances procedure."

Grievances are formal complaints presented to management due to the dissatisfied feelings arises during of action. Grievances are simple and complex of both types. Management has to take grievances positively and try to solve them promptly. Effective grievances help to redress the grievance to the mutual satisfaction of both the employees and the managers. It also helps the management to frame policies and procedures acceptable to the employees. It becomes an effective medium for the employees to express feelings, discontent and dissatisfaction openly and formally. Employees aspect of getting compensation equal to the value of grievances. Management tries to minimize their values. Management should settle grievances promptly otherwise, they take unsolved form, So, it needs scientific way of setting disputes.

Causes of employee's grievances

Grievances are the symbol of dissatisfaction of employees. There are different causes of dissatisfaction on the job like improper working condition, irrational management policies and violation of organizational rules, regulation and practices that result in grievances. They are caused due to the misleading of following factors.

Remuneration: Remuneration is a major reason of grievances. It comprises salary and wages. Salary differences in the same level and weight of job cause grievances. False method of determining salary, the rate of pay lower than market rate etc are reasons for rising grievances. Management should positive regarding such reason for grievances.

Organizational culture: Key reason of grievances is organizational culture. Trends, norms, values, attitudes are included in culture. Organizational culture should be acceptable to all the aspects of organizational. So, organizational culture is to be developed in such a way that they can be adjusted in the organizational environment. If cultural differences cannot match the organizational culture then grievances increase from employees.

The difference in understanding: Difference in understanding in between employees and management leads to disputes. There are different terms and condition of workers at the time of appointment. Such terms and conditions may not fulfill. They are remuneration, fringe, benefits, appointment and others. Difference in understanding of those terms and conditions in between labor union or worker and management are causes of grievances. So, management should keep the record of them for recall time and again.

Working condition: Working condition is environment aspects of job location. It must be comfortable and favorable to employees that support performance efficiency. Unhealthy environment, darkness, noise, inadequacy of resources are reasons for employees grievances under working condition. It is sports grievances. So, management should be highly careful on this issue.

Fringe benefits: Basic pay is compulsory to be paid. Organizations should provide others extra pay as an incentive are fringe benefits. They are direct or indirect in nature. Social security, medicine, insurance, gratuity plan, holidays etc. are benefits. Provision of them satisfies employees. Reduction or no increment of such benefits causes grievances. Employees take such benefits as their right when once provided. So, its management must be scientific.

Trade union: Group of employees who have similar interests and thoughts, so formed for the protection and promotion of their mutual interest is called trade unions. Employees who are associated with union are politically instructed. They present their own views for their own sake. Trade unions inspire their members to build pressure on minor and simple issues. So, unions are the reason for grievances.

Handling employee's grievances

Raising grievances in the organization is continuous and simple matter. Grievances lead to progress and development. So, it must be accepted positively. Management should manage them but should not control to remove from each level of organizations. Prompt settlement of grievances as much as possible is a must for the smooth running of an organization.

Methods of handling employee grievances

Organization must try to satisfy employee through employee development mechanism that minimizes grievances of employees. Timely settlement of grievances is favorable to the organization. but untimely settlement may not be effective and comes under the unsolved issue. So, two methods of handling grievances are developed which are presented under.

1) Open door policy:

A policy of presenting grievances directly to top management by grievant is open door policy. Under this policy, grievant prepares his all grievances in formal form and visits to the top management to have a talk regarding grievances with the reputation of getting compensation equal to the value of grievances. Employees need to have satisfaction through top management. Management should also handle their grievances by understanding their psychology. Top management may not have time to listen to grievances which are simple in nature and responsibility of handling such grievances is assigned to a just senior supervisor or departmental managers. Top management may not be recognized with grievances of lower level employees. Employees also directly can not present their problems which lead to difficulties in handling grievances.

2) Step ladder procedure:

Another policy of setting grievances is stepped ladder procedures. Under this method, various steps are to be passed to settle grievances. Step ladder procedure is a mechanism of history employees grievances. It's shown as below:

  • Grievant supervisor: Under this policy, grievant orally presents his/her grievance to a just senior supervisor.Grievances of employees are analyzed and recorded one by one. Supervisor tries to settle such grievances as much as possible. Here, supervisor should not be biased while handling grievances. If they are not solved and employees could not be satisfied then next step is to be taken.
  • Grievant department head: In the condition of not being satisfied grievant from the first step, second step should be taken. Under which grievant presents his/her problems to departmental head. Departmental head listens to all the problems micro and takes steps setting them. If solved , its ok if not then grievant moves to another step.
  • Grievant-grievance committee: Grievance committee is also term in large scale organization. Such organization is complex in nature. The conclusion about grievances is not drawn from departmental rather than presented to grievance committee. Grievance committee must be specialized on the matter of setting grievances. Complex type of grievances is related to this level. Grievance committee settles the problems in time to bring effectiveness in organizational performance.
  • Grievant top management: If the grievant is not satisfied with the solution of grievance committee then grievant moves to the chief executive. Generally, serious issues are reached to the chief executive. Chief executive offices settle such problem by participating union, representatives through negotiation on which chief executive takes decision as quick as possible.


Process of grievance handling

Grievance handling process is continuous and help to reduce employee dissatisfaction in the organization. Managers must address and change the grievances in the initial stage itself. The grievance ought to be tended to and reviewed as well as is by all accounts changed according to the included gatherings. Grievance handling process must be clear and simple that are described below:

Defining and describing the nature of grievance: Defining and describing is the first process of the grievance handling. This step helps to define and describe the nature of grievance as clearly as possible. It helps to identify the grievances.

Collect all the facts: Collects all the facts is another step where this process helps to explain how, when, where, why and to whom the grievance occurred. After defining the nature of the grievance, the next step is to gather all the facts that are concerned with the case. This step helps to gather all the information with facts and figure.

Establishing tentative solution to the grievance: After getting the clear picture of the grievance, the next step involves the establishment of the tentative solution to the grievance.

Check the validity of tentative solution: Facts are gathered on the basis of the tentative solutions. The executives establish a tentative solution and then observe critically whether his hypothesis is right or wrong. It analyzes and searches for multiple solutions to the grievance.

Applying the solution: The executive may hold conference with aggrieved employee and question other employees for applying the solution. It finally selects the best feasible and possible solution and implements the same

Follow up: Follow up is the last step. The executive may not conclude that the grievance has been until a check is made to determine whether the employee's attitude has been favorably changed. Checking can be done through casual observation while the employees are working.


Kharal, S.k. (2006). Foundation of Human Resource Management. Asian.

Acharya, B. s. (2014). Foundation of Human Resource Management. Kathmandu: Asmita.

Adhikari, D. (2010). Human resource Management. kathmandu: Buddha.



  • Voice of employees in relation to dissatisfaction state is grievances.
  • Grievances are raised due to low pay scale than the market rate of pay of same level . This often brings complaints in written form.
  • Grievances are formal complaints presented to management due to the dissatisfied feelings arises during  action.Grievances are the symbol of dissatisfaction of employees.
  • Salary differences in same level and weight of job cause grievances.
  •  Difference in understanding in between employees and management leads to disputes.
  • Prompt settlement of grievances as much as possible is a must for smooth running of an organization.
  • A policy of presenting grievances directly to top management by grievant is open door policy.

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Employees grievance are very important for the human resource management. Management should manage employee grievance effectively, promptly and in conformity with the legal provisions. If it is not managed effectively then this will lead to the decrease in productivity and employee morale and also there will be a lack of...

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