Workplace Grievances — Setting The Scene

Paul Helsby HR
2 min readMay 14, 2020

An introduction to handling workplace grievances

We all have had different experiences in the workplace.

Some will have glided serenely through their working life, never upsetting others or being troubled by the trials and tribulations of co-workers.

Some will have worked for the kindest, most altruistic employers, who consistently ensured that when they said that their employees were their most significant asset, they meant it.

As for the other 99% of the working population — including me — life wasn’t really like that.

I have worked in HR roles for well over twenty years, and have investigated many workplace grievances in that time. I encountered many aggressive managers and many annoying employees over the years — the ‘shouters’ and the ‘screamers’ so to speak. But whichever side of the fence you sit on, shouting and screaming is never the best strategy to resolve disputes with any setting.

Knowing what to do and how to do it has to be a better strategy for almost everything!

As a manager, shouting at your employees is also to be avoided wherever possible. There are some exceptions. Yelling at someone to warn them of an impending accident, is acceptable.

As is…no that’s about it.

You can be stern. You can be firm. You can be strong. You can be wrong. But nowadays you are very likely to be accused of bullying and harassment if you shout at your team, especially if you are doing so to try to upset somebody. Therefore don’t. And if you do yell at someone, by mistake, even if it’s just a one-off incident, apologise. Think about how you would feel if they did the same to you.

Oh, and if you find yourself shouting at people all of the time, then you most probably need to seek some professional help or counselling.

I aim to share some of my experiences — my wisdom — with you, rather than just repeating information that you can easily find on the internet because wisdom is very different from information or knowledge.

“… Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

Paul Helsby HR

HR Consultant @ PR-HR Solutions Ltd. Writing to share experiences — good and bad — gained from 25+ years in HR.