Every workplace will experience occasional issues, disagreements, or disputes. Unfortunately, not all of them are resolved quickly or easily. In some cases, an employee may choose to file a complaint with the management or HR department. No matter the magnitude of the complaint, each one should be taken seriously and handled promptly. Ignoring complaints from employees or handling them poorly could result in major issues, especially for small to mid-sized businesses. These four tips can help you learn how to handle employee complaints and avoid trouble:
1. Listen & ask questions.
It is important to show your employee that you are engaged in his or her concerns. Allow the employee to vent, and avoid interrupting. Acknowledge what the employee told you, and gather all the details by asking appropriate questions. Here are a few examples:
- What happened, and how did it make you feel?
- When and where did the incident take place?
- Who else was involved?
- Were there any witnesses?
- What was your response?
2. Find out what the employee would like to happen.
Get an idea of what resolution the employee wants. This allows the employee to express his or her expectations and feel heard. In addition, it gives you an idea of what a satisfactory outcome looks like to the employee.
3. Set a time frame for resolution.
Give your employee an estimate of how long it will take to resolve the complaint. Sometimes resolving the issue is simple and can be handled quickly. However, some complaints require investigation to verify the facts. These common tools can help you get to the root of the problem:
- Time sheet records and schedules.
- Company policies.
- Interviews with witnesses and others who are involved.
- Research of similar past complaints and their outcomes.
4. Follow up with the employee.
Always have regular follow-up with the parties involved. Check that the resolution is still in place. In addition, confirm the employee is following any steps he or she agreed to. Employee complaints are serious, and they should all be resolved in a timely manner.
For more information on handling employee complaints, contact Genesis HR Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-367-8367.