Discipline and grivence management

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  • 1. DISCIPLINE AND GRIVENCE MANAGEMENT Course Assignment Report Submitted by: Swarnima Tiwari (3110) Course In-charge Ms. Tapshri Department of Management North Eastern Hill University, Tura Campus Tura
  • 2. DISCIPLINE AND GRIVENCE MANAGEMENTTaking disciplinary action in the workplace is notoriously un-fun for managers and supervisors.Management of discipline and grievances requires a variety of skills and attention to processes and if itlacks in either, it could cost a company a lot of time, money and, in some cases, their reputation. Toeffectively manage discipline and grievances one must know the appropriate methods and laws tohandle the process. HR Tools can leverage discipline and grievance management with confidence from astrong understanding of the need for legal compliance combined with the proper procedures.Avoiding Tribunals that can cost your business both time and money means paying close attention to UKemployment law when handling discipline and grievance management. HR Tools has the knowledge ofemployee rights and HR policies and procedures to help avoid unfair dismissals, monitor legalcompliance and respect the expectations of the ACAS and Employment Tribunals when it comes todiscipline and grievances in the workplace.There is a process to discipline and grievance management and it includes knowing how to conduct aninterview to ensure full disclosure with great listening skills and a fair assessment process thataccurately evaluates the evidence, history and prior performance. Discipline and grievance managementrequires the ability to deal with a variety of situations and not only recognizing and dealing withgrievances, but establishing action plans to deal with discipline and grievances that is uniform andconsistent. HR Tools has the experience and tools to do just that. Employee Discipline:The promotion and maintenance of employee discipline is essential if organized group action isto be effective or productive. Discipline is very essential for a healthy atmosphere and theachievement of organizational goals. An acceptable performance from subordinates in anorganization depends on their willingness to carry out instructions and the orders of theirsuperiors, to abide by the rules of conduct, and maintain satisfactory standards of work.The term discipline can be interpreted vigorously. It connotes the state of order in anorganization. It also means compliance with the accepted orders or proper appreciation ofhierarchical-superior-subordinate-relationship. It is sometimes understood as a sort of check orrestrain on the liberty of an individual. It is a training which rectifies, modifies, strengthens, orimproves individual behavior. It is adhere to established norms and regulations. It correctsimproper conduct and thus acts as a force leading to the observance of rules and regulations. Itis essentially an attitude of the mind, a product f culture and environment and requires, alongwith legislative sanction, persuasion on a moral plane.According to Richard D. calhoon, “discipline may be considered as a force that promptsindividuals or groups to observe the rues, regulations and procedures which are deemed to benecessary for the effective functioning of an organization.” 1
  • 3. According to, “Dr. spriegal, “discipline is the force that prompts an individual or an group toobserve the rules, regulations and procedures which are deemed to be necessary to theachievement of an objective; it is a force or fear of force which restrains an individual or a groupfrom doing things which are deemed to be destructive of group objectives. It is also the exerciseof restraint or the enforcement of penalties for the violation of group regulations”.In the opinion of Jucius, “discipline, used as a known and preceded by the adjective ‘good’means that the worker willingly abides by company rules and executes orders”.Disciplinary action or to ‘discipline’ means that steps are taken to correct disobedience and ifpossible its cause.Thus discipline can be defied as a condition in the organization when employees conductthemselves in accordance with the organization’s rules and standards of acceptable behavior.The main features or characteristics of discipline that flow form above definitions are: 1. Discipline is self- control: it refers to one’s efforts at self-control to conform to organizational rules, regulations and procedures which have been established to ensure the successful attainment of organizational goals. 2. It is a negative approach: it means discipline encourages people to undertake some activities, on the one hand, and restrains them from undertaking others, on the other. 3. It is a punitive approach: it means that discipline also imposes penalty or punishment if the rules framed by the organization are not obeyed or ignored by the members. Punishment is imposed not to change past behavior but to prevent its recurrence in future. Objectives of disciplineThe main objectives of discipline are to: 1. To gain willing acceptance of the rules, regulations, standards and procedures of the organization from the employees. 2. To develop the feeling of co-operation among the workers. 3. To motivate the employees to comply with the company’s performance standards. 4. To create an atmosphere of respect and trust between the supervisors and employees and to maintain good industrial relations in the organization. 5. To improve the working efficiency and morale of the employees so that their productivity is stepped up and the cost of production is decreased. 6. To develop a sense of tolerance and respect for human dignity. 7. To give and seek direction and responsibility. 8. To foster industrial peace which is the very foundation of industrial democracy. 2
  • 4.  Causes of indiscipline Indiscipline means disorderliness, Insubordination and not following the rules and regulations of an organization. It is very difficult to prepare an exhaustive list of the reasons which lead employees to indiscipline. In fact, a number of social economic, cultural and political reasons contribute to indiscipline in an organization. In an organization the parties responsible for indiscipline are workers and their unions and the management. Indiscipline can be created by the employees while on the job, off the job, inside organization or outside organization. It is therefore, necessary for the management to determine what constitutes indiscipline or misconduct. Some of the major causes of indiscipline are as follows: 1. Non-placement of the right person on the right job which is suitable for his qualifications, experience and training. 2. Defective supervision due to absence of good and knowledgeable supervisors. 3. Faulty evaluations of persons and situations by executives lead to favourism, which generates indiscipline behavior. 4. The “divide and rule” policy practiced by the management destroying team sprit among the employees 5. Bad and unhealthy working conditions. 6. Discrimination based on caste, color, creed, sex, language, place, etc. in matter like selection, promotion, penalty etc. 7. Defective communication system. 8. Improper coordination, delegation of authority, fixing of responsibility, etc. 9. Lack of timely redressal of employees grievances. 10. Workers personal problems, their fears, apprehensions, hopes and aspirations; and lack of confidence in, and their inability to adjust with, their supervisors and equals. 11. Physiological and sociological reasons, including misunderstanding, rivalry and distrust among workers and supervisors, an absence of fellow-felling, a widespread sense of injustice or apathy on the part of the management. From the above comprehensive list of the causes of indiscipline, it is mostly noncooperation that results in indiscipline. Various factors like social, political and cultural issues also play a significant role in causing indiscipline. Henry Fayol observed that ‘discipline is what the leaders make it. Many times indiscipline is due to managerial faults, lapses, thoughtless words, and deeds and poor management. 3
  • 5.  Types/aspects of discipline There are two aspects of discipline. They are: 1. Positive discipline and 2. Negative discipline 1. Positive Discipline: This is also called ‘self-imposed discipline’. It involves creation of an atmosphere in the organization through rewards, appreciation, incentive payment, promotion, constructive support etc. to motivate employees to work willingly to accomplish the set of goals. In essence, positive discipline emphasis the concept of self discipline or self control. Thus, it reduces the need for personal supervision to make employees conform to organizational rules, regulations, procedures and standards. According to William r. spriegel, “positive discipline does not replace reasons but applies reasons to the achievement of a common objective. Positive discipline does not restrict the individual but enable him to have a greater freedom in that he enjoys a greater degree of self –expression in striving the group objective, which he indentifies as his own. Evidences suggest that self- disciplined person tends to be a better worker than one who is not self-discipline. When developed from within, leads to building up morale and esprit de corps that is the desideratum of the time to run organizations successfully. 2. Negative Discipline: it is also sometimes called ‘enforced discipline’. In case of negative discipline, employees are forced to obey orders and abide by rules and regulations that have been laid down, failing which penalties and punishment would be imposed on him. Thus, the objective of using punitive or coercive discipline is to ensure that employees do not violate rules and regulations formed by the organization. In other words, the purpose of negative discipline is to scare other employees and to ensure that they do not indulge in undesirable behavior. It is worth mentioning here that negative discipline cannot eliminate the undesirable behavior of the employees, but can merely suppress it. Punishment is not pleasant. It causes resentment and hostility on the part of employees. That is why this kind of discipline results in only the minimum standards of performance on the party of employees. This is precisely the reason why it is rarely used in the organizations. Because punitive discipline leads to resentment, it needs to be exercised in a progressive, sequential and chronological manner. A progressive system of discipline generally contains sequential and chronological manner. A progressive system of discipline generally contains five steps, viz., an oral reprimand, a written reprimand, a second written warning, temporary suspension and dismissal or discharge. 4
  • 6.  Disciplinary actions: penalties and punishments:Discipline particularly positive discipline follows a typical sequence from mild to harsh: thesevary from oral warning, written notice, suspension, demotion, pay cut and dismissal in thatorder. These are discussed below: 1. Oral warning: The mildest form of discipline is the oral warning. This is actually awarded on minor offences like late coming, absents, etc. Which are committed for the first time. A common practice followed in this regard is o make a temporary record of this warning and place the same in the employee’s file. Once the employee has shown better performance and willingness to adhere to rules and regulations, the record of the oral reprimand is removed from his file. 2. Written Notice: The second step in order of severity in progressive discipline is the written notice or warning. This is awarded for repeated minor offences or some lapses. The procedure involved in writing of the warning is the same as the oral warning. The only difference is that the discussion concludes with the employee being told that a written warning will be issued. Then, the manager writes up the warning. A copy of the warning is sent to the personnel department. Like oral warning, organizations may allow employees to purge their personnel file of these warnings after some period of time, i.e. usually two years of proper work behavior. 3. Suspension: suspension, also called lay off, is the next step taken in progressive discipline. Suspension as punishment is awarded for some major/serious offences. Suspension may be for a certain period ranging from one day to several weeks or months. During the suspension period, the employee is paid a reduced pay known as ‘subsistence allowance’. Full pay can be given if the suspension is withdrawn. However, suspension can have some implications for both the organization and the employee. For organization, suspension means loss of the employee for the lay off period. It is particularly so if the suspended employee is a skilled one. From the employee’ standpoint, suspension can result in a more negative frame of mind than before the layoff. Nonetheless, one reason why management considers suspending employee is to give an awakening to the problem employee. 4. Demotion: For the serious offences where suspension has not been effective and management wants to avoid dismissal, demotion is considered as an alternative punishment. It is noteworthy that, in contrast to the previous displinary actions, demotions is not temporary, but a constant one. It has serious implications for employee morale and motivation. 5
  • 7. 5. Pay cut: Another alternative, also rarely applied in practice, is cutting the problem employees pay. This is awarded most when offence led to damage or loss of property. A part of loss is recovered from such pay cut of the employee. 6. Dismissal/Discharge: Dismissal is the ultimate disciplinary action taken against problem employee. This punishment is awarded only for the most serious offences involving integrity. And discharge is use to denote removal of an employee from service by way of punishment. Both dismissal and discharge lead to employee separation from the organization. Though dismissal and discharge have the same result i.e., termination of service of the employee, dismissal is a more severe punishment. There is a stigma attached to the expression “dismissal” which makes it a disqualification for future employment. Guidelines of a disciplinary Action: Disciplinary action especially punitive one produces pains and displeasures for the accused employees. Hence, meticulous care is called for while disciplinary action. Over time, the behavioral scientist have developed some guidelines to indicate how discipline be administered. Some of the guideline for effective disciplinary action are: 1. Disciplinary action should be corrective rather than punitive: The objective of disciplinary action is not to deal out punishment but to correct an employee’s undesirable behavior. Therefore disciplinary action must not be thought of a punitive action. 2. Disciplinary action should be progressive: it is generally desirable for desirable for discipline to be progressive. So to say, disciplinary action must follow a series of sequential actions or steps with increasing severity of punishment in every next step. For example, progressive discipline should begin with an oral warning and proceed through a written warning, suspension, loss of seniority, loss of increment, and, only in most serious cases dismissal or some such harsh punishment. 3. Disciplinary action should follow the “Hot stove” rule: one effective guideline to administer discipline is to follow what is popularly known as the ‘hot stove rule. This rule suggests that applying discipline is much like touching a hot stove. The burn is immediate. When one touches hot stove, the burn is instantaneous, leaving no question of cause and effect. The person had an ample warning. The person knows what would happen if it is touched. The burn is consistent. Every time one touches hot stove, he/she gets the same response, i.e. one gets burned. 6
  • 8. The burn is impersonal. Regardless of who one is, if he/she touches a hot stove, the stove will burn anyone.Thus, the comparison between touching a hot stove and administering discipline is apparent.Therefore, the administration of discipline should be immediate, with warning, consistent, andimpersonal. These guidelines are consistent with the positive approach to discipline. Procedures of disciplinary action: Positive discipline is not just a simple act of supervision discussing performance with an employee. Rather, it is a procedure comprising a number of steps. Important steps in that procedure are: 1. Preliminary Investigation: the fist step should b to hold a preliminary investigation in order to find out whether a prima facie of misconduct exist. Only if a prime facie case of misconduct exists, the management should proceed further. Otherwise, the case should be dropped. 2. Issue of a charge sheet: if a prima facie of misconduct exits, the management should proceed to issue a charge sheet to the worker. The following guidelines may be following in framing the charges. a) Each charge must be very clear and precise. b) There should be a separate charge for each allegation. c) Charges must not relate to any matter which has already been decided upon. d) Mention of proposed punishment should be avoided in the charge sheet. 3. Suspension pending enquiry (if needed): if the nature of misconduct is grave and if it is the interest of discipline and security in the establishment, the management may suspend a worker even before the charge-sheet is issued. In case the worker is suspended, he should be paid subsistence at the following rates. For the first 90 day of suspension, half his wages. For the remaining period, three-fourths of his wages. 4. Notice of enquiry: On receipt of reply to the charge-sheet, 2 situations may arise: (i) The worker may admit the charge. In such a case, the employer may be award punishment without further enquiry. (ii) The worker may deny the charge. In this case, the employer must hold the enquiry. 5. Conduct the enquiry: The enquiry officer is a judge, is it necessary that he must be impartial and qualified to act in that capacity. A fair opportunity should be given to the charge sheeted employee to examine the management witnesses. 7
  • 9. 6. Recording of findings by the enquiry officer: At the conclusion of the enquiry proceedings, the enquiry officer should decide as to whether the charges mad are valid or not along with reasons for his findings. 7. Awarding Punishment: the punishment awarded to the accused employee should be communicated to him quickly. The letter should contain the following: i. Reference to: (i) the charge sheet. (ii) the enquiry (iii) Findings of the enquiry ii. Decision iii. Date from which the punishment is to be effective. Statutory Provisions Concerning Discipline: Recognizing the implications of disciplinary actions in the form of penalties and punishments, the Indian law contains certain provisions concerning discipline. These are discussed as follows: 1. Industrial Employment (standing orders) Act, 1946 As per the provision of this Act, it is mandatory for certain industrial undertaking to define precisely the employment conditions including the rules and the regulations of discipline. Also clearly describe the punishment conditions including the rules and the regulations of discipline. Also to clearly describe the punishment and penalties awarded to employees creating indiscipline and the same make known to the employees in the organization. In addition, the standing orders also describe what acts of employment are treated as misconduct and what are the punishments awarded for different misconducts. Following are some examples of employee’s misconduct: Willful insubordinate or disobedience. Refusal to work on job assigned to him. Theft or fraud in connection with the property of the organization. Sabotage of safety devices. Any illegal gratification. Habitual late coming. Absence from work without permission. Gross negligence of duty. 8
  • 10. 2. The Industrial dispute act, 1947 Under the provision of the Act, a Labour Court or Labour Tribunal is to be set up to deal with industrial disputes. In case of ‘protected workmen’, prior permission for discharge or dismissal is sought. Besides, the act also makes it obligatory for an employer employing more than fifty workers during the preceding one year, to set up a ‘Grievance Authority.’ The responsibility of this authority is to settle industrial disputes of an individual worker. 3. The Payment of wages Act , 1936 Section 8 of this Act places restrictions on the imposition of fines on an accused employee. The rules or restriction concerning to fines are to: Impose fines for approved list of misconducts and commissions. Exhibit the list at or near the main entrance of the factory. Give employee an opportunity of showing cause before imposing fine. Limit the fine three percent of the rupee wages payable to the accused employee during the period. Exempt workers below the age of 15 years from fine. Record fine realized is in a register. Role of HR Manager in maintaining disciplineIn so far as maintenance of effective employee discipline is concerned, the HR manager has got a crucialrole to pay. He has got a number of responsibilities in this regard. 1. Advising and assisting top line management in determining and developing an appropriate disciplinary procedure. 2. Assisting in communication of the disciplinary procedure to all employees of the organization. 3. Making sure the disciplinary policy conforms to the legal provisions. 4. Making sure that the disciplinary action is fair and conforms to appropriate principles of personnel management. 5. Training the supervisors and executives in dealing it disciplinary cases and problems. 6. Involving the trade unions and the employees in determining and implementing disciplinary procedures. 7. Helping in developing of self-discipline and self control on the part of the employees and winning over the confidence of employees in disciplinary policies and procedures. 9
  • 11.  Grievance Management: Every employee has certain expectations, which he thinks must be fulfilled by the organization he is working for. When he thinks must be fulfilled by the organization he is working for. When the organization fails to do this, he develops a feeling of discontent or dissatisfaction. Broadly speaking, grievance means any real or imaginary feeling of dissatisfaction and injustice, which an employee has about his employment relationship. Effective grievance management is an important and integral part of human resource management. If an individual’s grievances remain unattended and unresolved, they will become collective disputes. A grievance is a sig of employee’s discontent with job and its nature. The concept of “Grievance” has been defined in several ways by different authorities. Some of the definitions are given below: According to Dale S Bearch, “grievance is any dissatisfaction or feeling of injustice in connection with one’s employment` situation that is brought to the attention of management”. I n words of Michael Jucious, “a grievance is any discontent or dissatisfaction, whether expressed or not, whether valid or not, arising out of anything connected with the company that an employee thinks, belives or even feels, is unfair, unjust or inequitable”. According to Flippo, “grievance is a type discontent which must always be expressed. A grievance is usually more formal in character than a complain. It can be valid or ridiculous, and must grow out of something connected with company operations or policy. It must involve an interpretation or application of the provisions of the labour contract”. Now grievance can be defined as a complaint expressed verbally or in written where an employee feels injustice has been done to him by the management. Grievance generally gives rise to unhappiness, frustration, discontent, indifference to work, poor morale; and they ultimately lead to inefficiency of workers and low productivity. Usually, a complain based on interpretation or application of the provisions of negotiated contract between the union and the management constitutes a grievance. An Hr manager should therefore see to it that grievances are redressed at the earliest possible moment. On analysis of the above definitions, the following features of grievance can be noted: 1. Grievance reflects dissatisfaction, or discontent experienced by an employee. 2. It is a feeling of injustice to one’s job by the employer or the management. 3. It may be unvoiced/ implied or expressed by an employee. 4. It may be written or oral. 5. It may be real or imaginary, valid and legitimate. 6. Grievance arises out of something related to employee’s employment contract. 10
  • 12. 7. Grievance, if not redressed in time, gives rise to discontent, frustration, poor morale, and ultimately to low productivity. Features of Grievance An analysis of the above mentioned definitions reveals the following features. They are: 1. A grievance refers to any form of discontent or dissatisfaction with any aspect of the organization. 2. The dissatisfaction must arise out of employment and not from personal or family problems. 3. The dissatisfaction may be expressed or implied. Expressed grievances are comparatively easy to recognize and are manifested in several ways e.g., gossiping, active criticism, argumentation, poor workmanship etc., unexpressed grievances are indicated by indifference to work, daydreaming, absenteeism, tardiness etc. 4. The discontent may be valid, legitimate and rational or untrue and irrational or completely ludicrous. The point is that when a grievance held by an employee comes to the notice of the management, it cannot usually dismiss it as irrational or untrue. 5. A grievance is traceable to perceived non-fulfillment of one’s expectations from the organization. 6. A grievance arises only when an employee feels that injustice has been done to him. 7. Grievances if not redressed in time, tend to lower morale and productivity of employees. Causes or sources of Grievances As it can be seem from the definitions of grievance, it arises out of something that causes dissatisfaction or discontent to one’s employment. As such, there cannot be a precise set of the causes of grievances applicable to all organization. In fact, the causes of grievances are likely to differ from organization to organization. Chandra in his study found out the following areas as the causes of employee grievances: Promotions Amenities Continuity of service Compensation Disciplinary action Fines Increments Leave Medical benefits Nature of job Payment 11
  • 13. Recovery of dues Safety appliances Superannuation Supersession Transfer Victimization Condition of work However, whatever be the cause of grievances, they tend to fall under the following categories: 1. Concerning working conditions: (i) Unsafe and unpleasant working conditions. (ii) Inadequate toilet facilities, dirty toilets, etc. (iii) Non availability of necessary raw materials, tools and machines. (iv) Misfit between worker’ ability and job. 2. Concerning management Policy and job: (i) Wage rate and its payment (ii) Incentive (iii) Seniority (iv) Promotion (v) Transfer (vi) Fines, punishment and penalties. 3. Concerning violation of rules and regulations: (i) Organization rules and regulations (ii) Civic laws (iii) Past practices (iv) Procedure of collective bargaining 4. Concerning personality Trait: (i) Fault-finding attitude (ii) Over ambitious (iii) Mental tension (iv) Negative approach to life (v) Excessive ego felling Understanding employee Grievance The best approach towards grievances is to anticipate them and take steps to tackle them before they assumed dangerous proportions. An ordinary manager redresses grievances as and when they arise. An excellent manager anticipates and prevents them. A manager can know about the simmering grievances through several means. They are: 12
  • 14. 1. Observation: A manager/supervisor can usually track the behavior of people working under him. If a particular employee is not getting along with people, spoiling materials due to careless or reckless, remaining absent., the signals are fairly obvious. Since the supervisor is close to the scene, he can always find out such unusual behavior and report promptly. 2. Opinion surveys: Surveys may be conducted periodically to elicit the opinions of employees about organization and its policies. Group meetings, periodical interviews with workers and collective bargaining sessions are also helpful in knowing employee discontent before it becomes a grievance. 3. Gripe Boxes: A gripe box may be kept at a prominent locations in the factory for lodging anonymous complaints pertaining to any aspect relating to work. Since the complaints need not revels his identity, he can express his feeling of injustice or discontent frankly without any fear of victimization. Gripe boxes are different from suggestions with names written on them. 4. Exit interview: employee usually leave their current jobs due to dissatisfaction or better prospects outside. Exit interviews, if conducted carefully, can provide important information about the employee’s grievances. If the manager tries sincerely through an exit interview, he might be able to find out the real reasons why the employee is leaving the organization. To elicit valuable information, the manager must encourage the employee to give a correct picture so as to rectify the mistakes promptly. It should be remembered that those employees who believe in keeping their relationship cordial, because they never know when their paths may cross again, will not like to burn their bridges behind them by speaking about their grievances. If the employee is not providing fearless answers, he may be given a questionnaire to fill up and post the same after getting all his dues cleared from which he is leaving. 5. Open door policy: Some organizations extend a general invitation to their employees to informally drop in the manager’s room any time an talk over their grievances. The manager can crosscheck the details of the complain through various means at his disposal. This policy is useful in keeping in touch with employee feelings. At first glance, this policy may appear attractive but it has the following limitations. a) This policy is workable only in very small organizations. b) The frontline is unfamiliar with the work situation. c) The doors ma be physical from actually entering them. Need for grievace Procedure Without an alalysis of their nature and pattern, the cause of employee dissatisfaction cannot be rmoved. The aHR manager should help the top line managers, particularly foremen and supervisors, in the formulation and mlementation of the policies, programmes and procedures which would best enable them to handle employee grievances. These policies, rogrammes and procedures are generally known as the grievance redressal 13
  • 15. procedure. The grievance redressal procedure is a device by which grievances are setteled,generally to the atisfaction of the trade unon or employees and the management. Theadoption of the grievance handling procedure is essentially for a variety of reasons, some ofthem are given below: 1. Most grievances seriously disturb the employees. This may affect their morale, productivity and their willingness to co-operate with the organization. If an explosive situation develops, this can be promptly attended to if a grievance handling procedure is already in existence. 2. It is not possible that all the complaints of the employees would be settled by first- line supervisors, for these supervisors may not have a proper training for the purpose, and they may lack authority. Moreover, there may be personality conflicts and other causes as well. 3. It serves as a check on the arbitrary action of the management because supervisors know that employees are likely to see to it that their protest does reach higher management. 4. It serves as an outlet for employees gripe, discontent and frustration. It acts like a pressure value on a steam boiler. The employees are entitled to legislative, executive and judicial protection and they get this protection from the grievance redressal, procedure, which also acts as a means of upward communication. The top management becomes increasingly aware of employee problems, expectations and frustrations. It becomes sensitive aware of employee problems, expectations and frustration. It becomes sensitive to their needs, ad cared for their well-being. This is why the management, while formulating plans that might have on the employees. 5. The management has complete authority to operate the business as it sees fit- subject, of course to its legal and moral obligations and the contracts it has entered into with its workers or their representative trade union. But if the trade union or the employees do not like the way the management functions, they can submit their grievances in accordance with the procedure laid down for that purpose. According to Arnstrong t.o., a well designed and proper grievance procedure provides: 1. A channel or a avenue by which any aggrieved employee may present his grievance; 2. A procedure which ensures that there will be a systematic handling of every grievance; 3. A method by which an aggrieved employee can relieve his feeling of dissatisfaction with his job, working conditions or with the management; 4. A means of ensuring that there is some measure of promptness in the handling f the grievance. 14
  • 16.  Essentials of a sound grievance procedureThe efficiency of a grievance procedure depends upon the fulfillment of certain pre-requisites.These are as follows: 1. Legal sanctity: The grievance procedure should be legally alright. In other words, the procedure should be in close conformity in the grievance procedure. 2. Acceptability: The procedure to be acceptable to all workers, managers and union should contain the features like a sense of fair play, justice to workers and reasonable exercise of authority to managers. 3. Timely: The procedure should aim at timely redressal of grievances at the lowest level possible. Added to it, there should be a time limit prescribed and rigidly followed at each level of grievance procedure. 4. Simple: The procedure should be simple to understand and implement. Management of steps to be involved in the procedure makes it simple. 5. Training: to make the grievances procedure effective, the supervisors and other officers should be imparted training in grievance handling. 6. Follow up: the decision taken for settling grievance should be reviewed at periodical intervals so that corrective measures can be taken to make the grievance procedure more effective.  Grievance procedureA grievance procedure is a formal process which is preliminary to an arbitration which enables theparties involved to attempt to resolve their differences in a peaceful, orderly and expeditious manner. The code of discipline adopted by the Indian labour conference in 1957 laid down that the managementand unions should establish, upon a mutually agreed basis grievance procedure which would ensure aspeedy and full investigation leading to a settlement. At present, the model grievance procedure in Indiaprovides for five successive time bound steps, each leading to the next unless the aggrieved employeeprefers an appeal. These steps are as follows: 15
  • 17. Step 1: The aggrieved employee verbally explains his grievances to his immediate supervisor or in a conference or a discussion specifically arranged for the purpose. The employee seeks satisfaction from his supervisors. The supervisor must give his answer within forty-eight hours of the presentation of the complaint. The grievance can be settled if the supervisor has been properly trained for the purpose, and if he adheres strictly to a basic problem-solving method. Step 2: the second step begins when the grievance is no settled by the supervisor. If the employee does not receive an answer within the stipulated time or he is not satisfied with the answer, he shall either in person or with his departmental representatives present his grievance to the head of the department designated for this purpose. The head of the department is generally the chief business manager, a superintendent or an industrial relations officer who goes into the grievance and gives his decision on the matter. He is required to furnish his answer within three days of the presentation of the grievance. Step 3: If the employee is not satisfied the answer, he can approach the grievance committee which shall evaluate the case and make its recommendations to management within seven days o presentation of the case. The grievance committee is compose of some fellow-employee, the shop steward or a combination of union and management representatives. The committee may suggest any one of the possible solutions: It may call upon the grievant to accept the employer’s proposed settlement. It may advise him that the trade union will not press for anything more than has already been suggested. In some cases, it may recommended that the issue be submitted for arbitration.The employee would be informed about the recommendation with three days.Step 4: If the committee fails to a take decision within the stipulated period or if the employee is notsatisfied with the decision, he can make an appeal for revision to management. Management issupposed to communicate its decision within seven days of the worker’s revised petition.Step 5: If the employee is dissatisfied with the management’s decision, union and management mayrefer the grievance for voluntary arbitration within a week of the receipt of management’s decision bythe aggrieved employee. The parties may agree beforehand that the arbitrator’s award will be final andbinding on both the parties 16
  • 18. The figure below shows the five-sep grievance procedure. Union representative time taken No time limit prescribedStep 5 ARBITRATION <-----------------------------------------------> 7 days Personnel Manager Regional unionStep 4 representative Company union Grievance committee 3 daysStep 3 <---------- Head Department ------------------------------------------ Chief steward 3 days supervisor Union Steward ---------------------------------------------- 2 daysStep 1 EMPLOYEE Fig: Grievance procedure Benefits of grievance procedure:Grievance are natural in any organization. These should be solved as early as possible,otherwise they can create serious problems for the organization. The benefits of a goodgrievance procedure are as follows: 1. It brings grievances into the open so that management can learn about them and try to settle them. 17
  • 19. 2. It helps management to solve a grievance before it becomes a dispute. 3. It provides the workers a formal opportunity or expressing their fears, anxiety and dissatisfaction. 4. It provide employees a formalized means of emotional security. 5. It helps to maintain cordial relations in the industry by enabling both the parties to settle the grievances to their mutual satisfaction. 6. Management knows that its arbitrary and biased action can be reviewed ad challenged and therefore become more careful when dealing with its subordinates. 7. It enables the management to know the attitudes and feelings of employees regarding rules and practices of the organization, this helps them to frame rules which are more acceptable to the workers. Grievance management In IndiaIn Indian Industry, adequate attention has not been paid to the settlement of grievance.Legislative frameworks deals only indirectly with the redressal of individual grievances. Atpresent, there are three legislative dealing with grievances of employees working in industries.They are: 1. The Industrial employment (standing orders) act 1946. 2. The factories Act 1948. 3. The industrial disputes act 1947.1. The Industrial employment (standing orders) act 1946Requires that every establishment employing 100 or more workers should frame standingorders. These should contain, among other things, a provision or redressal of grievances ofworkers against unfair treatment and wrongful exactions by the employer or his agents.The factories Act 1948The factories act 1948 provides for the appointment of a welfare officer in ever factoryordinarily employing 500 or more workers. This welfare officer also look after complain andgrievance of workers. However, these provisions are not helpful due to duel role which theseofficers are called upon to play.3.The industrial disputes act 1947 The industrial disputes act provide: a) The employer in relation to every industrial establishment in which fifty or more workmen are employer shall provide for a grievance settlement authority. 18
  • 20. b) When an industrial dispute connected with an individual workmen arises in an establishment referred to above, a workmen or any trade union of workmen of which workmen is a member may refer such dispute to the grievance settlement authority for settlement. c) The grievance settlement shall follow such procedure and complete its proceedings within such period as may be prescribed. d) No reference shall be made to boards, courts or tribunals of any dispute referred to in this section unless such dispute has been referred to the grievance settlement.Authority concerning and the decision of the authority is not accepted to any of the parties tothe dispute.Under section 2-A of the industrial Dispute Act9 which was added to the Act by an amendmentmade in 1965), the term “industrial dispute” includes all difference between an industrialworkmen and his employer concerned with organizing out of his discharge, dismissal,retrenchment or termination not withstanding that no other workman nor any union orworkman is a party o dispute. The effect of this provision is that the industrial grievances of aworker of the kind noted can in future pas through the settlement machinery which has beenprovided under the Act. Conclusion:In conclusion it can be said that discipline and grievance management are very important forany organization. Discipline and grievances if not properly managed can cause serious ruble forthe organization. Management of discipline and grievances requires a variety of skills and attention toprocesses and if it lacks in either, it could cost a company a lot of time, money and, in some cases, theirreputation. To effectively manage discipline and grievances one must know the appropriate methodsand laws to handle the process. HR Tools can leverage discipline and grievance management withconfidence from a strong understanding of the need for legal compliance combined with the properprocedures. Bibliography: 1. Human Resource Management-Principles and practices by P. G Aquinas 2. Human Resource Management-text and cases by dr. S.S Khanka 19