How to Deal With Complaining Employees

HR Complaints How to Deal With Complaining Employees

Deal With Complaining Employees the Right Way

If mishandled, employee complaints can turn an office environment toxic. Managers, Human Resources, and employees need to follow proper complaint procedures to make sure one dispute doesn’t damage company productivity or morale.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about employee complaints. We will go over the reasons employees complain, how to prevent and handle them if you are an HR personnel, and why DoNotPay’s Anonymous HR Complaint product provides a simple way to file employee complaints.

Why Do Employees Complain?

Employees file complaints about a host of reasons. The table below describes the most common types of complaints with examples.

Unfair TreatmentWork Allocation and Pay DisputesWorking Conditions and Company Policies
Employees feel they are being treated unfairly because of discriminatory factors such as race, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or color.Employees are dissatisfied with their working hours and/or job duties.The office environment is uncomfortable (ie., too hot, too cold, not clean enough) or contains hazards that pose a threat to the employees’ safety.
Employees believe there is favoritism in the office and believe they are treated unequally because of it.Employees want increased or better benefits. This can be related to insurance, maternity/paternity leave, holidays, travel reimbursement. The employees are overworked and/or do not receive sufficient vacation/sick leave.
Employees are victims of physical harassment or bullying.Employees believe their pay rates are below market level or should be higher when compared to their coworkers.The employees may not be receptive to new/sudden policy changes.
Employees believe their concerns are not being taken seriously by management. Perhaps, the employee has voiced verbal, “unofficial” complaints before without getting any progress towards a solution.Employees have interpersonal disputes with their colleagues. Employees are unhappy with management style or work processes, which can range from micromanagement to inefficient practices.

How to Handle Employee Complaints

Whether you’re in HR or you’re in a management position, receiving complaints is inevitable. Follow these steps to address each complaint properly.

  1. Remain neutral and take the complaint seriously. Giving your full attention will make the employee who complained feel heard.
  2. Get the complaint in writing. Having a written record will be useful if an investigation or punishment is necessary.
  3. Clarify. Ask questions about details of the incident, including but not limited to people involved, the place, and the time to get an accurate understanding. If necessary, ask the employee to compile evidence for their complaint.
  4. Investigate. Go over messages, screenshots, video recordings, and eyewitness accounts to see if the complaint is valid.
  5. Take appropriate action. Whatever course of action you pursue, make sure to notify the employee who complained that the issue is being addressed. If the complaint was baseless, let the employee who filed the complaint know. 

How to Prevent Employees From Complaining

The most efficient way to handle complaints is to prevent them before they happen. The following tips can help you create a better work environment and improve employee satisfaction. 

  • Set expectations. Establish clear performance benchmarks and describe appropriate office behavior. Articulate the values and expectations of the company. Let employees know that constant whining is inappropriate and that there are proper channels to use when someone has a valid complaint. 
  • Be proactive. Encourage employees to share their input on company policies and their workload and duties. Use surveys and questionnaires to get a pulse on the team’s morale. By addressing issues preemptively, you can prevent simmering discontent from boiling over into official complaints.
  • If employees have interpersonal disputes, encourage them to meet in a private and safe space to discuss their differences. Beforehand, give them advice on how to approach the dispute with a solution-oriented attitude. Keep in mind that this will only work with less serious grievances. Serious complaints should be mediated.
  • Check your hiring process. Hiring the right people can prevent future complaints. During interviews, describe your company’s culture and how you value accountability and being able to work through differences. Ask questions that elicit the candidate’s ability to handle coworker conflicts. 

Complain the Right Way Through DoNotPay

With DoNotPay’s Anonymous HR Complaint product, drafting employee complaint letters is a simple process. All you need to do is:

  1. Open the Anonymous HR Complaint tool on DoNotPay.
  2. Enter your employer name and the HR department mailing address.
  3. Describe the issues you're experiencing and how you want them to be resolved.

That’s it! DoNotPay will mail the anonymous employee complaint letter without exposing your identity!

What Else Can DoNotPay Do for You?

DoNotPay does not stop at just HR complaints. In addition to helping you deal with chronic complainers in the workplace, DoNotPay can help with other day-to-day legal matters such as:

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