A common workplace grievance is when a member of staff is being performance managed and they believe this is unfair – so they make a claim of bullying. These are tricky and risky situations and need a sensitive, rigorous approach from the investigator.
We believe this type of complaint is likely to increase as organisations put in place efficiency drives, with performance targets that are tough and more rigorously monitored than before. Employees who are not used to this could all too easily feel this to be bullying. Equally risky is to have clumsy managerial communications and growing perceptions of unfairness from staff under pressure.
Three things to ensure you have in place
- A clearly mapped out grievance investigation process including key ground rules, rights and responsibilities and terms of reference
- Templates for consistency of approach, including information for the parties, records of interview, and the written report
- Investigators who are sufficiently skilled not only at interviewing, but crucially in analysing and weighing evidence fairly
- Strong managers able to manage performance well, with excellent communication skills