What are the leading causes of employee grievances?

Employee grievances require careful and proper handling so as to maintain peace and motivation among members of your workforce. A grievance may involve an employee’s role, conflict with another employee, etc. Regardless of the cause, grievance handling should be swift and effective.

Some experts have come to the conclusion that conflict-related grievances are less in workplaces with more educated employees. However, professionalism and education factor does not totally account for the causes of employee grievances, including those related to the conflict. Work philosophies, opposing personalities, and diverse ways of approaching tasks/problems among employees are also sources of grievances at work.

Surprisingly, work type can also influence employee grievances. However, in an effort to control the grievance rate, employers are expected to understand the causes of employee grievance and to keep grievances records as a means of dealing with grievance chances.

Here is a list of leading causes of employee grievances -

employee grievancesOffice Temperature

Uncomfortable office temperature has the highest employee complaint, according to IFMA’s study in 2009. The temperature inside workplace changes, from summer to winter, but most corporate culture fail to recognize this massive temperature change. While some employees would consider a specific temperature too cold or warm, others are very much comfortable with it. And it’s not easy to adjust the thermostat when you have many enjoying the current temperature. Employees with grievances may bring in heaters in their cubicle, dress in layers, or regularly protest for adjustment to the thermostat.

Promotion, Benefits, and Salaries

This is inarguably one of the most common causes of employee grievances. Promotions, benefits, and salaries are better discussed and adequately clarified so that an employee doesn’t consider themselves being cheated. Employees need to understand if they are eligible for the company’s tuition reimbursement program or not, including how the system works. Employee grievances may also arise when they find out about others’ salaries, especially if another worker with similar credentials with them earns more. They can also begin to ask why they haven’t received promotions or complain over health care coverage and other related programs.


Despite the increasing number of campaigns to end discrimination in the workplace, human resources departments continue to receive employee grievances on discrimination. The danger surrounding this cause of grievance is the option of turning to lawsuits if complaints are not fully addressed. A grievance may come up through any of the discrimination laws and could turn into lawsuits if the complaints are not properly addressed. For instance, a worker may be offended and show grievances if they think your company is only promoting their male or female counterparts. Employees who feel offended when another coworker tells a racist joke could take the grievance to any level.

Work hours and favoritism

Employees can express frustration when they fail to get enough work hours or scheduled to work for too many hours. Employee grievance could surface when they are not allowed to telecommute because the corporate culture doesn’t permit access into the system from home. Employers may experience an increase in complaints if the employees are constantly scheduled to work when are not comfortable with such as during shifts.

These are not all the causes of an employee grievance. Malfunctioning or lack of work equipment/facilities, harassment, bullying, etc. could trigger grievances at work. Lastly, having too many employees of equal or similar authority at work may increase chances of conflict-related employee grievances in the workplace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.