When problems arise with employees in the workplace this can lead to complex situations that are difficult to resolve. It’s rarely, if ever, simply a case of saying “you’re fired.” In fact, doing that can end up being costly for the business if an employee has not been fairly treated during a disciplinary and, consequently, dismissal process. Whatever the sector, every organisation needs to ensure that key people understand discipline and grievance in the workplace.
Discipline vs. grievance – what’s the difference?
Disciplinary procedures in businesses are essentially there to provide a roadmap if something goes wrong in the relationship between employer and employee. That could be poor performance or bad behaviour. Grievance procedures give employees the opportunity to raise issues that they are experiencing, whether that’s a feeling that they are being bullied or a lack of support.
Why are discipline and grievance procedures so important?
They provide a structured way in which problems can be aired and discussed and (hopefully) a resolution found. With a disciplinary procedure, in the worst case scenario, the process will also set out clear steps that lead to dismissal. Given the pressures and the wide range of different people in any workplace, issues are likely to arise at some point. What is crucial is to ensure that there is a process in place for these issues to be dealt with fairly and objectively before bigger problems arise.
Why have disciplinary and grievance procedures?
Both employees and management understand the process of dealing with issues<
Problems can be dealt with swiftly and aren’t given the opportunity to escalate
- Employees feel like their voice is being heard where there is a grievance procedure in place to tackle problems
- When employees are encouraged to speak up early they are less likely to sit on issues that could later become much larger and more complex
- Employees know that they will all be treated the same in specific disciplinary situations
- Law or regulation may require that the business has disciplinary and grievance procedures in place
- Both employees and managers know where they stand and what the process is to bring a situation to a resolution
- Using a structured process can lead to a quick and effective resolution via a series of transparent steps that ensure legal compliance
- Without the right procedures in place, the business could end up paying out compensation to employees who have not been fairly dealt with
Working with disciplinary and grievance procedures
It’s crucial to ensure that both disciplinary and grievance procedures are clearly laid out and easy to follow. Employees should be able to access the relevant information easily and know where to find it for reference. Training may be necessary, both for employees and for management. This will not only make it easier for everyone to use the procedures in place but will ensure that they are properly followed so that time consuming and costly mistakes can be avoided.
Disciplinary and grievance procedures are an essential part of managing the relationship between employer and employees. Find out more by booking your place on our Understanding Discipline and Grievance course today.