Responding to grievances

Many conflicts can be resolved with good communication skills. At other times, conflicts may be more serious, perhaps resulting in a formal complaint or grievance. In these situations you have a duty to follow your organisation's written policy and procedures.

If you are involved in a conflict, you may be required to:

  • inform the person or people involved that you must report the problem
  • report the matter to your supervisor or other appropriate person
  • document all the issues, dates, actions, etc. in a factual and objective manner
  • provide documents and forms, and attend interviews as required.

Managing grievances requires a good balance of acknowledging emotions and extracting factual information. If you are assisting with conflict resolution, procedures could include:

  1. Inform the people involved (in writing) of the process to be followed.
  2. Interview the people involved together and separately as appropriate.
  3. Document the process, outcomes and action agreed upon.
  4. Take action, review action.
  5. Follow up as appropriate.

Any interview should end with clear outcomes indicating action to be taken, who is responsible for the action, and a strategy agreed to for reviewing the action and the process generally.

If the conflict is an emergency situation:

  • Act immediately to deal with the emergency, according to organisational policy and guidelines.
  • Contact the appropriate staff to manage the problem.

Once an emergency is under control, those involved may require debriefing from an appropriate staff member.

Workplace activity

Grievance procedures

Section 4 activities (Word Document 31KB)

Last modified: Thursday, 3 October 2013, 1:52 PM