How HR Handles Complaints Against Managers

HR Policies for Handling Employee Complaints Against Managers

With the rise in work culture diversity, employee complaints against managers are an important problem that needs to be addressed. In our social environment, we meet thousands of people every day. With constant competition and unhealthy business hours, employee satisfaction is given a lot of importance these days.

Many theories and studies have discussed the direct relationship between employee satisfaction and motivation and willingness to work. A hygienic work environment, good team management, and competent leadership are essential components that enable growth. 

The human resource of every company needs to work to manage employee complaints against the manager efficiently. Organizations cannot move towards growth and development unless they are unhappy and content with their working space, responsibilities, team members, and managers.

HR and Employee Complaints

Employee complaints relate to dissatisfaction with the company and its management. A corporation or employer should offer a safe and healthy work environment, a clear understanding of job tasks, appropriate salary, respect, and other benefits.

When an employee works in an organization, there can be a difference of opinion. There are times when employees feel that they are facing discrimination. At times these can be a wrong interpretation of a situation also. 

But there might be situations where severe discrimination is based on gender, race, ethnicity, status in society, or other aspects. This is not only ethically wrong but also legally challenging. Hence, all managers need to be well aware of treating their subordinates with respect and providing them with a friendly and trustworthy working environment.

But anyhow, if an employee faces a problem, they have full right to complain. An essential aspect of this complaint is a formal procedure and the proper evidence. For example, there can be rifts in an organization due to ego or unhealthy competition. Hence the HR cannot take action until they have proper evidence. 

So the first step is that you have to make a formal complaint along with robust evidence. Privacy is yet another important factor here. But as any allegations cannot be acted upon without knowing both sides of the story, the HR department needs to talk to your manager. For addressing the employee complaints against the manager, after learning both sides of the story, a proper investigation is carried out.

Considerations of a Complaint

Regulations concerning the workplace compel employers to safeguard and maintain the privacy of certain types of employee details, including grievances. So, when you face a difficult situation with your manager, sit back and think before acting. First, you need to understand if the problem requires an official complaint.

Though it is your right, you can easily solve some issues. If you can solve it, you can consider not making an official complaint with HR.

The next step after careful consideration is not being scared. It is a big step to go against your manager, but if you think that is the need of the hour and the only option, exercise your right with complete confidence. Companies can have different online or offline policies and procedures in this respect. 

When you follow the right way to reach the human resource department, your complaint goes to the right people and at the right time. It is formally and adequately considered if factual, detailed, and specific with documented evidence.

Now it also needs to be considered how much you need to escalate. Sometimes your complaint might not reach the right people, or you might not be satisfied with the steps taken. Hence the procedure of employee complaints against managers continues even after the investigation, evidence, and talks. If you as an employee are not satisfied, you can reach out to the VP, Director, or the Head of the Human Resource department.

Handling the Complaint

It is a primary requirement for HR professionals and top management to resolve workplace conflict. On the side of the HR department, this can be a tricky situation. When they get a lot of complaints at a time, it can be challenging to manage. In addition, such complaints can harm the company’s reputation. A reasonable investigation needs to be carried out; otherwise, these can destroy careers.

With careers and years of importance at stake, the HR department needs to be extra careful when receiving and taking action on employee complaints against managers.

Firstly, the HR department needs to work on proper policies and procedures for filing a complaint. For example, some organizations might have online forms to be filled if you have a complaint to fix a meeting with the concerned authorities. Others might have offline conditions or even direct meeting procedures. Therefore, it is essential to have clear guidelines laid out.

Employees are scared to file complaints because they feel their careers will be destroyed, and there will be severe repercussions.

So, the most critical aspect of creating a safe environment is laying out policies and making the employees feel safe. They need to be given assurance that if they exercise their right, it will not have negative consequences. Therefore, in addition to policies for complaint filing, there should be context-specific policies for taking action.

Anyone who finds the courage to file a complaint thinks of it as something serious. So, it is essential to efficiently and appropriately talk, fix, and resolve the issue as per the severity. Efficient management of employee complaints against managers is the responsibility of the HR department.


When employees are provided with a healthy workplace, it shows in their work and decision-making. Team spirit and individual motivation are high in a workplace that values employees. When there are threats in the workplace, employees are demotivated and unwilling to put in their best efforts. It, in turn, damages the company’s reputation, creating a rift between managers and employees.

Efficient policies for employee complaints must be handled adequately with proper analysis of both sides of the story followed by investigation and appropriate action.

Springworks Team

Building products and tools to simplify the life of an org's HR function in terms of recruiting, onboarding & retention!

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