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.This can often mean either that employees will sue you, or try to organize a union.For example, weknow a small wholesale business which recently unilaterally and without consultation changed aseries of employee rights and benefits.In the view of management, the benefits conferred on theemployees by the change were much greater than what the employees lost in perks.So when theemployees turned to the Teamsters Union, management was initially both flabbergasted and angry.It never occurred to them that the employees, suddenly facing a whole new set of work rules, someof which they thought were very unfair (for example, loss of pay for lunch hour), went outside thecompany for help because there was no fair grievance and appeal procedure or, for that matter,any process that allowed them to communicate their position to management. Sample Employee Grievance ProcedureHere is material excerpted from the formal grievance procedure of a 20-person softwaredevelopment company.It isn t a complete grievance plan, but illustrates some of the issues thatshould be covered.Grievances concerning personnel reviews: The person with a grievance is to write a letter to thechair of the grievance committee requesting a hearing time and date.The chair will hear the matter,put comments in writing for the employee personnel file and take whatever actions are necessary inthe matter.No further appeals are provided.If the chair of the grievance committee is a directsupervisor of a party involved, the latter shall be sent to a company lawyer who is the alternativechairperson.Grievance concerning salary, benefits or office working conditions.Same as above except that thegrievance committee chair shall include in the deliberations the company president and anotheremployee chosen by the person filing the grievance.There is no appeal for final decisions of thisgroup.Grievances concerning ethical behavior of employees or management concerning termination ofemployment, matters of illegality, public issues, discrimination: The procedures shall be the sameas above, except that the full grievance committee shall be called.The person filing the grievanceletter can specify individuals to be excluded from the committee where their presence would directlybear on the grievance matter.Appeal on the decision of the committee can be filed with theChairperson of the Board, within two weeks of the final decision of the grievance committee, andthe Board shall as a whole make a final decision at its earliest convenience.All personnel involved in the grievance process are expected to maintain confidentiality whenrequested.Finding Out What Employees Are ThinkingOne good way to find out what your employees think about you and the practice of your business isto ask.If you have only a few employees, you may want to talk to each individually or have a seriesof meetings, taking care to establish an environment of trust so that your employees will feelconfident in saying negative as well as positive things.If your business is larger, you may want to rely, at least to some extent, on a written questionnaire.Here is a sample which you can adapt to your needs.Give it to employees and allow anonymousresponses.Employee QuestionnaireThe working conditions here are generally&Poor Adequate ExcellentThe working conditions, compared to other jobs I ve had, are&Poor Adequate ExcellentHandling of serious employee problems that are brought to managers is& Poor Adequate ExcellentWhen most employees describe the business management they say&Poor Adequate ExcellentI know the established policy for handling employee problems and grievances.yes no there isn t one it is.Poor Adequate ExcellentI know the established policy for handling employee wage disputes.yes no there isn t one it is.Poor Adequate ExcellentI know the established policy for handling conflicts between employees.yes no there isn t one it is.Poor Adequate ExcellentWhen someone is fired most fellow workers know the circumstances in which the employee canappeal the decision within the company.yes nothere isn t one The appeal process is.Poor Adequate Excellentyes noI am paid fairly.I know what others are paid.Most employees understand the direction, policies and goalsof the business.Comments and suggestions for improving workingconditions: SuppliersIt has long been remarked that the tallest buildings in a society reflect its central concerns.Only acentury ago, church spires defined the skyline.They were replaced by the buildings of majorindustrial concerns.Today, bank buildings, insurance companies and office towers filled withinvestment companies and law firms dominate the rest.A focus of all these businesses is credit andcredit-worthiness.As a nation we have been taught to trust the integrity of these giant financial enterprises because oftheir track records.However, recently some of these institutions, such as savings and loans, haveproved themselves unworthy of trust.A number of huge but financially troubled banks have beensold to other huge banks to avoid failure.It may not be too soon to wonder what institutions willreplace the banks on the top floor of urban America.When it comes to small businesses, people are judged more on how they treat their creditors thanon how big their headquarters is.Having a good record in paying bills is insurance against negativestories being circulated about your small business.Having an extra-good record can be a positivemarketing tool that can work to improve your business when the people you deal with spread thepositive word, as they inevitably will.Every business has suppliers.They vary greatly depending on the business, but almost everyonemust deal with lawyers, accountants, bankers, maintenance people, office supply stores and avariety of neighborhood businesses.Those of you in retail, wholesale or restaurant businessesmust relate to many more.From the marketing vantage point, suppliers can be seen as similar to family members who sharethe same house.Your actions have immediate and important effects on each other.When at homea child leaves the cap off the toothpaste, the next person must deal with the dried-up glob on theend of the tube.Similarly, your failure to pay a printing bill on time means your printer may have todeal with the nasty mess of not having enough money to pay his bills.Both at home and in the business community, how you handle problems is quickly noticed byothers.At home, if you yell and scream and make the erring child feel miserable, chances are shewill act out her resentment in some way.The same is true when problems develop in business [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]