Dealing with employee complaints the right way

Staff laughing with eachother while they work - taken care of by the best HR solutions company Blue Tree HR Solutions

The best HR solutions company Essex can offer is here to help you deal with employee complaints effectively. 

Dealing with workplace complaints is delicate business, and has to be acted upon effectively and professionally. Resolving issues correctly will help managers maintain a positive work environment, and ensure legal compliance.

As an expert HR solutions company, Blue Tree HR Solutions is here to help you with our experienced HR support for small businesses, which will manage your employee’s complaints and behaviour the correct way.

Employee complaints - Why are you receiving them?

A positive, organised and managed work environment should not cause employees to complain. If your employees are having issues, either with other members of staff or the workplace itself, this could be a sign that your company is not as happy and healthy as you might think.

Employee complaints can be valuable opportunities to identify and rectify issues within your company. If dealt with professionally and fairly, you can begin to build your dream workforce culture of trust, respect, resolution, and above all, happy employees.

Employee complaints will range from something very minor to something serious, and it is up to management to decide how to deal with the situation appropriately.

Without an HR department, knowing how to deal with complaints can be tricky. One wrong move can have dire consequences. To ensure the well-being and protection of all parties involved – including yourself, the employee filing the complaint, the company and any individuals impacted by the complaint – it is crucial to deal with complaints professionally.

As an experienced HR solutions company, the Blue Tree HR Solutions company team is here to help with expert HR support for small businesses. Take a look at our ad-hoc HR and retained HR services!

How do I know how to handle a complaint?

The key thing to remember about employee complaints is that no matter how big or small, they should all be resolved – leaving none to be swept under the carpet. Even minor complaints can snowball into something larger if left unattended – which could land your company in trouble, lose you employees, or leave you with a hefty claim.

A grievance is a complaint that has been given to you in a formal, written manner with the idea that management takes action following the statutory procedure. Complaints that have been expressed to you informally can be labelled as a complaint or dissatisfaction.

Employee grievances require to be handled in a set procedural manner that follows current employment law to protect everybody involved. Not following these procedures will land you in hot bother.

Grievances can be costly, stressful, and time-consuming. The idea is to help your staff resolve all issues before they reach the grievance stage.

If you have had an employee complain to you, informally, take the time to chat with them, figure out how they are feeling, and how you can help them resolve their issue effectively without processing to the grievance stage.

If you’ve had an employee complaint, and you’re unsure of the best way to handle and resolve the issue, contact the best expert HR solutions company in Essex, Blue Tree HR Solutions. Our expert advice and HR support for small businesses can help guide and advise you throughout. Take a look at our ad-hoc HR and retained HR services for more.

Staff laughing with eachother while they work - taken care of by the best HR solutions company Blue Tree HR Solutions

Dealing with a grievance

If an employee complaint has reached the grievance stage, a set statutory process will take place, which will involve a robust investigation and an outcome meeting, and could lead to further disciplinary action.

This process can be intimidating and stressful. Especially when one wrong move could lead to the downfall of your company.

Expert HR solutions company, Blue Tree HR Solutions, is here to help. Our team of specialists can offer HR support for small businesses that will help your management through the entire process, guaranteeing all processes and procedures are adhered to and current employment law is followed. We can help with providing letters and documents to all of those involved, as well as performing our own independent investigation and presenting our findings to best advise you on the next steps.

With the Blue Tree HR Solutions company team by your side, you can relax knowing you are not alone. With every step you take, we can provide feedback, making sure you navigate the complex procedure with ease and reach the best possible outcome for all those involved.

For more information about our HR support for small businesses, ad-hoc HR, and retained HR or if you just have questions for us, get in touch here!

How can I avoid employee complaints getting to this stage?

There are a few steps you can take to make sure complaints are dealt with in the best possible way and minimise the chances of these needing to turn into grievances.

Because Blue Tree HR Solutions company is an experienced HR solutions company, we have all the best strategic ways to respond to employee complaints.


Respond quickly

Responding quickly to employee complaints is crucial. Not only does it demonstrate care for employee well-being and satisfaction, but addressing issues early can stop problems from further escalating. Quick responses also help you maintain positive relationships and team dynamics, showing you are always there for your employees.

By addressing complaints fast and not leaving them to stew, your company has more chances at reaching a conflict resolution.

Timely responses are also important when dealing with grievances. If your management cannot handle dealing with complaints in a fast manner, they may struggle with proper grievances procedure that requires a response within a set period of time. If this is the case, it may be a good idea to offer your management more training.



When an employee comes to you with a complaint, it is crucial to listen and try to understand their perspective.

Complaints can be about many things, from discrimination to unprofessional behaviour by colleagues or managers. Asking open-ended questions to gather detailed information about what happened, how, when, with whom, and why it is being raised as a complaint is essential to helping you find the best outcome.

Focus on facts and evidence, not opinions, while taking notes to demonstrate that you are taking their concerns seriously. After listening, inquire about the employee’s desired resolution or ideal outcome, showing that you value their input.

Listening is the best way to encourage open communication, a supportive environment and trust – the three things you will need to effectively deal with a complaint without them escalating into a grievance.

Staff sitting at table conducting a complaint investigation with help from the best HR solutions company Blue Tree HR Solutions

How can I reduce complaints? Pro-active HR!

Implementing proactive HR strategies is the key to creating the workplace environment of every manager’s dreams, and helps to minimise grievances and complaints overall.

Pro-active HR can help catch and address issues early on, sometimes before they even become issues. Blue Tree HR Solutions is an expert HR solutions company for a reason – Here are all our best pieces of advice for implementing proactive HR strategies in your workplace!


Clear policies and procedures

Develop and communicate clear policies and procedures that outline expectations for employee behaviour and performance. Ensure that employees have access to these policies and understand their rights and responsibilities.

This provides consistency and clarity for all staff, as well as comfort and protection that bad behaviour will not be tolerated.


Open communication

Open communication in your workplace is so important. If employees don’t feel they can effectively communicate, they may bottle up issues until they explode.

Checking in with your employees regularly allows staff to offer feedback, bring up any concerns, and build trust and relationships. Create an environment that values and empowers its employees, and watch the increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall success!


Training and development

Making sure management is trained sufficiently in conflict resolutions, diversity and inclusion, and effective communication is a good way to ensure issues can be spotted before they are brought to the attention of management in the form of a complaint.

Offering more in-depth training to management is a good way to reduce complaints.

How can expert HR solutions company Blue Tree HR Solutions help you?

To polish up your proactive approach, deal with complaints effectively and navigate through the grievances process correctly, you’ll need Blue Tree HR Solutions expert HR support for small businesses. Our range of packages is designed to help you with what you require most.

Our ad-hoc HR and retained HR packages give you the option to choose the perfect package for your company.

Our ad-hoc HR provides your company with access to our HR services as needed, offering flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Whether it’s assistance with a one-off contract or a complicated grievance case, you can rely on our ad-hoc HR for help when you need it most.

Our retained HR package offers ongoing support – just as if you had your HR department. This service allows our team to become part of your team so that we can truly understand the culture of your company, and offer strategic guidance and advice where needed. Our retained HR will help you implement a proactive HR approach.

Both our ad-hoc HR and retained HR packages help by offering expert HR support for small businesses.

Our specialised team is equipped with extensive knowledge and experience, meaning we can offer advice, guidance and HR support for small businesses, through processes that could otherwise prove challenging and stressful. We understand the complexities involved in addressing workplace complaints and aim to help you find a resolution, protect employee rights, and create a positive work environment.

For HR support for small businesses, choose expert HR solutions company Blue Tree HR Solutions and together, we can create a thriving workplace where success and employee well-being go hand in hand.

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