Grievance redressal or grievance handling procedure is the formal mechanism for dealing with worker’s dissatisfaction. It can also be defined as a formal system of several steps through which an affected employee can take his grievance to successively higher levels of management for redressal. It is also a means available to management to keep a check or relevant diagnostic data on the state of the organisation’s health.
A grievance handling procedure is necessary in a large organisation which has numerous personnel and many different levels with the result that the manager is unable to keep a check on each individual, or be involved in every aspect of the working of the organisation. In a small organisation, communication, knowledge and contact is possible to a much greater extent, thus reducing the need for a formal grievance procedure.
Features of Grievance Redressal
(1) Legal Sanctity – The procedure should be in conformity with the existing law. It should be designed to supplement the statutory provisions. Wherever possible, the procedure should make use of the machinery provided under legislation. The procedure may be incorporated in the standing orders or collective bargaining agreement of the organisation.
(2) Acceptability – The grievance procedure must be acceptable to all and should, therefore, be developed with mutual consultation among management, workers and the union. In order to be generally acceptable, the procedure must ensure –
- A sense of fair play and justice to workers,
- Reasonable exercise of authority to managers, and
- Reasonable participation to the union.
(3) Promptness – The grievance procedure must aim at speedy redressal of grievances. This can be ensured in the following ways –
- As far as possible, the grievance should be settled at the lowest level,
- There should be only one appeal,
- Time limits should be prescribed and rigidly enforced at each level, and
- Different types of grievances may be referred to appropriate authorities.
(4) Simplicity – The procedure should consist of as few steps as possible. Channels for handling grievances should be carefully developed. Employees must know the officers to be contacted at each level. Information about the procedure should be communicated to the employees.
(5) Training – Supervisors and union representatiıves should be given training in grievance handling. This will help to ensure effective working of the grievance procedure.
(6) Follow-Up – The working of the grievance procedure should be reviewed at periodical intervals. Necessary improvements should be made to make the procedure more effective.
Procedure of Grievance Redressal
(1) Identify Grievances – Employee dissatisfaction or grievance should be identified by the management if they are not expressed. If they are ventilated, management has to promptly acknowledge them.
(2) Define Correctly – The management has to define the problem properly and accurately after it is identified/acknowledged.
(3) Collect Data – Complete information should be collected from all the parties relating to the grievance. Information should be classified as facts data, opinions, etc.
(4) Analyse and Solve – The information should be analysed, alternative solutions to the problem should be developed and the best solution should be selected.
(5) Prompt Redressal – The grievance should be redressed by implementing the solution.
(6) Implement and Follow-Up – Implementation of the solution must be followed up at every stage in order to ensure effective and speedy implementation.