Understanding Grievance Procedure in Human Resource Management

If an organization has to move towards excellence, maintenance of harmonious and cordial relationship is a vital condition. Similar to organization’ expectations from the employees. The employees do have more expectation in terms what they have contributed to each other. Failure to meet with each others expectation or the deviations from what has already been accepted may lead to indiscipline, grievance and stress are of continuing in nature and often judicial- legal process may not be of much help in resolving them.



Managing Discipline:

In the modern management process, discipline should be viewed as a behavioral modification process. Although there may be many norms fixed for desirable behavior wherever there are deviations. Appropriate corrective measures should also be taken for overall effectiveness, of an organization. Promotion, maintenance and strengthening of discipline will be a continuing affair, only if some of the following conditions are fulfilled. They are normally

- A shared culture
- Inculcation of positive attitudes
- Scope for problem solving and
- A feeling of satisfaction

(1)Approaches to Deal with Indiscipline:

This approach tends to emphasize the coercive and punitive methods that fall with in the legal-constitutional framework. It may not always be realistic.

(2) Judicial Approach:

This is only an after effect approach. It follows the law of natural justice and provides the offender all possible opportunity to bring out his side of the case. This is a time consuming process and conducive climates are not often restored.

(3) Humanistic Approach:

It lays emphasis on a healthy inter personal relationship between the employer and employee. Corrective steps are taken in helping the employees to get over their difficulties and to the extent possible, punitive actions are avoided inspite of some perceived inconsistency that may exist among other workmen.

(4) Human Resources Development (HRP) Approach:

Keeping in mind the Theory Y and its implications, organizational goals have to be enhanced through adequate training, motivational patterns and personnel policies. Groups are used as influences and often made to act as catalysts to emulate norms of behavior. Likewise, the effectiveness in maintaining discipline is also possible through the process of leadership. A leader has to exhibit mutuality of interaction, persuation, highly interpersonal in his relationships and get himself involved and should expect participation from others to achieve the organizational goals and bear in mind not to indulge in favoritism while taking appropriate actions.

To avoid displeasure among the employees while enforcing discipline, it would be a desirable course of action if only one employees his diagnostic skills and intervention skills. If a change is to be expected in an individuals behavior, some amount of influence had to be exercised in order to create a congenial atmosphere.

Managing Grievance:

In a democratic set up any employee should be in a position to express his dissatisfaction, whether it be a minor irritation, a serious problem, or a difference of opinion in the work assignment or in the terms and conditions of employment. The feeling of discontent or dissatisfaction becomes a complaint when (a) it has not assumed (b) the matter has been presented in a highly informal way. A complaint turns into a grievance when (I) there is a feeling of injustice (II) expressing the feeling formally, either verbally or in writing and (III) it is related to policies, procedures and operations of the organization. The National Commission on labour (1969) for example defines grievance in the following way:

“Complaints affecting one or more individual workers in respect of their wage payments, overtime, leave, transfer, promotion, seniority, work assignment and discharge would constitude grievance. Where the points at dispute are general applicability or of considerable magnitude they will fall outside the scope of this procedure”.

Nature and Causes of Grievance:

In an organization a grievance may be presented by an employee or group employees, with respect to any measure or a situation that directly affects the individual or is likely to affect, the conditions of employment of many workers. If such a grievance is transformed into a general claim, either by the union, or by a group of employees, then the claim falls outside the scope of grievance procedure as it is a collective grievance and therefore it falls under collective bargaining.

In ‘Grievance Procedure, A survey of practices in industries in India’, it’s classified in to 19 causes of employee grievances have been outlined. They are
1. Promotions 2.Amenities 3. Continuity of service 4. Compensation 5. Disciplinary action 6. Fines 7. Increment 8. Leave 9. Medical Benefits 10. Nature of job 11. Payment 12. Acting promotion 13. Recovery of dues 14. Safety appliances 15. Superannuation 16. Suppression 17. Transfer 18. Victimisation and 19. Condition of work.

The international labour Organization (ILO), clarifies a grievance as a compliant of one or more workers with respect to wages and allowances, conditions of work and interpretation of service stipulation, covering such areas as overtime,leave,transfer,promotions,seniority,job assignment and termination of service


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