Employee Disciplinary issues and Grievance Handling


An organization is formed to achieve certain goals and objectives by bringing individuals together on a common platform and motivating them to deliver their level best. It is essential for the employees to enjoy at the workplace for them to develop a sense of loyalty towards it.It’s a reality that most companies routinely have to manage staff disciplinary issues. With the welter of changing legislation it can be challenging to ensure compliance whilst resolving problems satisfactorily.

Behavioural problems in the workplace call for HR Manager to take action to ensure that the problem is contained and remedied. The importance of discipline in the organization cannot be underestimated, since employee morale, productivity and even company profitability can be adversely affected. Disciplinary action is sometimes necessary so that employee who infringe on workplace rules, recognise personal and team accountabilities, which would groom them into true professionals.  A positive approach may resolve a problem before it worsens; however, discipline should be used carefully by following company policy while respecting the employee’s rights

Grievance handling and disciplinary actions are both challenging aspects of people management, but it has got to be done when the need arises. All HR Professionals have to face up to such difficult employee situations at one point in their career.Workplace grievances may occur as long as there is an employer-employee relationship. Anything that can be deemed as unfair treatment to the employees can be classified as grievances. When grievances are not identified and handled amicably, employee morale can be affected, leading to lower engagement level and productivity, and higher attrition as employees lose confidence with the leadership.


What exactly is employee discipline? 

Employee discipline is defined as the regulations or conditions that are imposed on employees by management in order to either correct or prevent behaviors that are detrimental to an organization. The purpose of employee discipline is not to embarrass or degrade an employee, but a positive approach to groom employees in such a manner so they can deliver their productivity  as per the expectation of top management.


Discipline and Grievance

Discipline and Grievances are each one side of the same ‘complaints coins. Discipline is a ‘Management’s Complaints’ against an employee. And Grievance is an ‘Employee’s complaint’ against management.


Why Disciplining Employee?

The purpose is to ensure that an employee performs in a manner that is deemed acceptable by the organization. Does this mean that employee discipline is nothing more than being threatened with being fired? Of course it doesn’t. Employee discipline is much more than that. Employees experience conflict at work and sometimes break the rules.  It then becomes your job to minimize the conflict and get things going back on track. Disciplinary policies and actions play the prime role in prohibiting unwanted employee behavior.




Working environment:

It may be undesirable or unsatisfactory conditions of work. A good environment means so many things for each staff, they always wants a perfect and people friendly work place for them. Work environment can include below mentioned factors through which employee feels dissatisfied and start cripping and making issues:

  1. Poor working conditions
  2. Strained relations
  3. Excessive discipline
  4. Attitude of supervisor
  5. Behavior of top management
  6. Strained relations
  7. Defective promotion
  8. Lay off and retrenchment


Economic manners:

Employees may demand for individual wage adjustments. They may feel that they are paid less when compared to others. Other factors can include:

  1. Lack of recognition
  2. Payment of overtime
  3. Inadequate bonus
  4. Allowances / Incentive
  5. Increments



It may be objections to the general methods of supervision related to the attitudes of the supervisor towards the employee such as perceived notions of bias, favoritism, nepotism etc.


Organizational change:

Any change in the organizational policies can result in grievances. For example, the implementation of revised company policies or new working practices.


Employee relations:

Employees are unable to adjust with their colleagues, suffer from feelings of neglect and victimization and become an object of ridicule and humiliation, or other inter- employee disputes.



These may be issues relating to certain violations in respect of promotions, transfer, disciplinary rules, fines, granting leaves, medical facilities, violation of organizational rules and practices.


Sources : www.study.com, www.managementstudyguide.com

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