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Updated April 13, 2012
Can your small business adequately handle workplace issues and conflicts? Chances are, your employees don’t think so.
According to LegalZoom’s Workplace Insight Report for Businesses 2018, only 26 percent of workers have faith their employer can take swift action to handle workplace issues or scandals. This indicates that there’s a major gap between business owners and their employees when it comes to handling grievances.
Whether it’s a dispute between multiple employees or a more public issue, your management team needs to have a specific process in place so your employees know exactly how they should file grievances and that you’ll take action in a timely manner. If you don’t, it can lead to a lack of trust, lack of transparency and even increased turnover.
In fact, 15 percent of workers said they’ve actually quit jobs because of workplace issues. And 16 percent said they tend to avoid reporting concerns due to fear of repercussions from management or other employees. But those employees still might go elsewhere with their concerns; 33 percent said they’ve confided in a coworker, 9 percent have complained on social media, and 22 percent said they’ve kept a personal file detailing ongoing issues they’ve experienced.
Handling Employee Complaints and Grievances
So what can small businesses do to make employees feel more comfortable reporting issues? The report names a number of potential options, including outlining processes in official training materials, offering a suggestion box or way for employees to suggest improvements anonymously, and setting up an HR department or creating an official chain of command so everyone has a specific path to present issues.
According to the report, few businesses actually make use of these tactics, which is likely part of the reason there seems to be such a big level of concern among workers. Whether you choose to present training on specific workplace issues or simply set up a hierarchy for employees to bring concerns to management, it’s clear that many businesses have room to improve in this area. Issues and conflicts arise in some form in just about every workplace. And your ability to deal with those issues quickly can make a big difference to your team, according to all the data from LegalZoom.
The report includes responses from more than 1,100 adults that were collected in early December 2017.
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