Managing a complaint at work: A step-by-step guide
Managing a complaint at work - Myth busting: True or false?
If you've got a formal procedure for handling grievances - and made sure all your staff know how it works - you can't go far wrong.
Unfortunately, this is not straightforward, as the answers are yes and no to different aspects of handling a grievance formally. Yes, a procedure which is fair, clear and consistent is going to help, and this would be seen favourably by an employment tribunal.
However, there is a 'No' element because handling grievances can be very tricky.
Imagine that you are trying to deal informally with a complaint from three colleagues about one of their fellow worker's personal hygiene.
You need to be careful how you broach this subject with the employee and manage a very sensitive subject. If handled badly, the employee could be left feeling isolated and vulnerable. You might even be accused of bullying the employee and have a more serious grievance to deal with.
To find out more broaching difficult topics, go to the Acas guide on Challenging conversations and how to manage them .