The rise of the grievance

According to a new survey of over 350 UK employers from an employment law firm, it was found arguing and conflicting colleagues account for 47% of all grievances raised in the workplace.

38% of businesses believe that his is down to employees becoming less tolerant, with factors like mental health and stress, and organisational change also suspected to be contributing to conflict between employees or between employees and line managers. 

Workplace conflicts can often be fuelled by differences in communication styles, broken relationships, reactions from formal processes and managers not fully understanding the remit of their role. 

With shorter tempers and less understanding, gripes that may have been shrugged off previously now escalate into formal complaints. Factors such as company changes, increased workload pressures and personal issues, all of which may be being driven by external factors such as the cost-of-living crisis, can all contribute to higher levels of stress.

The findings suggest the main frustration regarding employee grievances was line managers failing to handle issues informally with nearly a quarter saying this was their biggest bug bear. 

Managers should proactively address conflict within their teams as soon as it arises. It is extremely important that managers are responsible for their teams and do not rely on HR to handle these matters, unless the workplace conflict is particularly complex or legally sensitive.

121 HR Solutions are hosting a workshop on Managing Disciplinary & Grievance in our Glasgow and Montrose venues on the 28th and 29th November. To secure your place on either of these workshops, please book here: Event Bookings | 121HR Solutions – Glasgow

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