Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Process Industry Consultant / Soft Skill
Bramch Head Idbifederal
+5 Others

Thread Started by #ABC8708

Dear Seniors,
Please help. What decision to be taken as a HR person when received a written complaint from workers against the Boss of a Unit. They also requested to give them a receipt copy of this complain letter. Please guide what to do in this situation ? should I give them signed copy of complain letter ?
23rd July 2013 From India, New Delhi
Dear Friend,
You should welcome such gesture of workers. Also, if there is any process to handle grievance in your organization, you should follow it.
There is no problem in signing the complaint sheet & return.
Speak to your "Unit boss" & show him the complain. If, He is aware about the very concept of Human as an Asset; definitely he will revert logically.
If workers are right on their part, as an HR you need to communicate the same to management as well.
Remember, HR person is a bridge between employer & employee & vice versa.
HR is for the welfare of employee & to see whether no injustice is done on employees part.
If, your management or boss fails to understand this, then you are working at wrong place.
Vision is only achieved by the people. Employer who do not value Human resource, will never succeed in his objectives.
23rd July 2013 From India, Pune
Thanks Mudassar04 for reply & suggestions. The Management & the Boss asked me not to sign as acceptance and just to keep in the file. very difficult situation for me.
23rd July 2013 From India, New Delhi
Dear One
We can understand your situation , where you are in soup
It is highly difficult to give you ready made answer , suppose if you go support either side of workers, and it is necessary for you to do continue job under current boss supervising ,future may be tough ,
So better approach to your chief of hr dept, and convincingly notice them the situation , but becareful that this all not to be known to your boss.
More over you may notify this workers that boss is not willing to let you sign on this, if still workers not convinced and enrage you time to time sequence must be notified to your highers.
23rd July 2013 From India, Delhi
One should never forget the very basic principle of Human resource. the word human itself. If the HR person goes diplomatic & compromising on workers right to secure his job, it is unethical & not correct.
Nevertheless, HR person should not act like leader of a group to instigate workers towards employer, but should take constructive logical steps to harmonize things between them.
In my opinion, injustice should not be tolerated on either part. One should be "fair" & "just". HR person is not for employer; but for employees welfare.
23rd July 2013 From India, Pune
HR Executive is an employee of the company. He/she is not an employee of the union or the workers. Role of HR is to 'manage' the human resources effectively. One aspect of this management is to take care of the welfare of the workers and also to maintain cordial industrial relations. Therefore, in the normal circumstances, when a complaint is received against a unit head that has to be handled as per the normal procedure of handling a complaint. But in a private company, much depends on the attitude of the management towards handling such affairs. The point of view of the management should also be kept in view. The nature of complaint is also to be studied. If it is in the nature of creating an 'industrial dispute' in future, it should be handled keeping that factor in view. In such a situation the management may not like to have on record that a representation like that was ever made! If however, the complaint is ethics related or personal, it has to be handled differently and at the appropriate level of the management. There again the management may view the pros and cons keeping in view the gravity of the complaint and the likely effect that it may have on the company in one hand and the dispensability or indispensability of the unit head on the other. Management will take have to take a decision in the best interest of the company, as a whole. This is a decision which has to be taken at an appropriately higher level. Executives at a lower level will not be able to appreciate it because they donot have an overall view of the company and also because they donot possess complete facts from all angles. In such a situation it would be better to follow what the top executives say, but to have a record of happenings just to save your skin in case of need.
24th July 2013 From India, Madras
Dear bpugazhendhi, Thanks a lotttt. Very good remarks and suggestions. Seems to be effective if I do as per your advice. Thanks again for professional advice. Let me into battle field.
24th July 2013 From India, New Delhi
Yes it is a good sign as a Responsible HR person it is ur duty to accept and sign the complaint.Further to this, you need to reflect the complain to ur boss or to the management. Be cautious and have transparent verification because after getting the complaint you cant just do the courier work you should verify and if you feel yes it is right then no second thought immediately take this issue to ur boss and make a permanent solution
24th July 2013 From India, Madras
Dear friend,
The very phrase "boss" that you have used, it goes on to show the work environment in your company. Are we in 21st century or in 19th century? How can anyone be "boss"?
Your management is yet to understand difference between bossism and leadership. In your second post, you have written that your "boss" and MD told not to accept the letter from them and just keep it in file. Who are they running away from and why? Why they are not transparent?
It appears that they have not learnt any lessons from what happened at Manesar about a year ago. The cause of the workers anger was suppression of union by the Suzuki's management. The more you suppress, the more they come up.
Anyway try talking to the management. However, I doubt these people will listen at all.
Dinesh V Divekar
24th July 2013 From India, Bangalore
Dear ABC

Let me agree to those written HR person is also an employee of the company. HR is to help the company to implement the HR policy of that company. HR is not a judge of a court. The front line HR manager is the person probably you are reffering as the Unit head who recruited and managing the team. In India people call their superior for the convenience also as Boss. Becasue they feel calling sir or by name is not appropriate. All good mangers are leaders too. They have two function leading the people and managing the system. so they are both managers and leaders. This is a generalised view.

Specifically to the issue raised by you I find prima facia the employees are trying to create a record. May be they are trying to form a union and want to move leagally. You should talk to the head of that department and they will ask to investigate this case through the reporting manger of this unit head.

If the employees who complained is still working. But very much likely those who gave complaint to you may be could be the recently exited employees. If this is the senario. just inform the management and dont take any action. In both the cases you should not take any direct action. Inform the concerned department head and alsoHR department head about the same.

It is seen that the Unit heads protects employees inspite of non performance and also anticipating a future performance and also due to lack of talents can be hired is less. But when these protected employees goes out after a long time of non performance they write these kind of letters. So clearly understand what is the motive.

If you reply or give the acceptance as per the laws you will have to take action within a specified time. Talk to the legal department also if necessary.

The concered department will have the clear record of all the above things. An employer is recruiting the employees not to punish them. but to develop and retain. But unfortunately now a days the new candidates want only a jumping board and they are not ready to put effort. All things will be analysed and in the enquiry of the concerned department in which this incidence has happened.

Any situation is not so complex. It is the people make it so complex. Think with clarity and get simple solution try to communicate simple to the concerned.

All the best

24th July 2013 From India, Mumbai
Hello ABC8708- I can appreciate your dilemma with the delicacy of this situation. However, it is important to maintain your position as the HR representative for the employees AND the company. I would first advise higher management 'over' the boss that is named in the complaint. This may not be the first complaint against this person so it is vital to place in a formal record. Because the employees are requesting a signed receipt tells me they have been in a similar situation and have been taught through experience that nothing will happen. It also tells me that this 'boss' may have influence to keep him out of trouble.
Maintain your professionalism. Speak to higher management. Keep accurate records of everything. Represent all parties fairly. And as already suggested, this may not be a company you wish to work for, so I would update the resume as well in case you are put in the middle and receive retaliation from the boss in the complaint.
Best of luck~
24th July 2013 From United States, Fremont
Dear friend,
Just want ask if your company has HR Dept or PERSONNEL Dept. If it is personnel, then, Simply implement rules and regulations pertaining to whatever violations the parties might have committed. Either the complaining person or the person complaint of. If you have an HR department, things would turn out different as HR pepole must deal not only the policy but the Human aspect especially the law of cause and effect either natural or otherwise.
HR will even go beyond exploring the individual outside of office in order to determine the contributing factors of his/her attitude including the person being complaint of. This is HR reality to render personal touch to the individual. This is not pampering, but simply administering HR function vis-a-vis Personnel function.
25th July 2013 From Australia
Hello ABC,
Many views are expressed on this issue.
No doubt it is a ticklish situation.
However it can be tackled in parts.
1.0 If Management does not want you to sign the letter as acceptance you can buy time from both sides.
2.0 Try to convince the Management saying that there is nothing wrong in taking the Letter as received.
RECEIVED does not mean that one agrees to the contents.
3.0 Try to pacify the workers by saying that a solution will be found and it will take time.
The way you have described it, it is obvious that the matter is much above your level.
Take a verbal feedback and convey it to Management.
4.0 Management must be made to convince that the ball is in their court,irrespective of
whether the letter is not accepted or acknowledged.
They have to be told that the matter can be delayed but not ignored
5.0 Till the matter is resolved keep communicating to both the parties.
30th July 2013 From India
Dear All,
I have been unsuccessful. Tried from every angle with HR process/systems & suggestions/guide from you all but the workers/management are not agree on their stand. Have been trying from last week. So much pressure on me. They want acceptance. HR department people in dilemma with me.I have heard from the shop floor that workers are now probably heading for a union but still not confirmed.First time in my HR career , i am really in battle field. Need guide from seniors.
31st July 2013 From India, New Delhi
Your last post is very cryptic. Cannot understand what it really means. You have stated that you were 'unsuccessful' - kindly elaborate in what target you were unsuccessful.
2. What are the respective stands of the management and workers you were referring to?
3. What is the dilemma of the HR department?
4. They are going to start an Union means the whole issue is connected with starting of the union? Didn't you have any Union so far? What is the background?
Only with the above details any suggestions can be given.
31st July 2013 From India, Madras
Dear ABC

Can we have a clarity on the following points

1.what is the stand of that Unit head , against whom the complaint is received

2.If that Unit head is a problem, is the management willing to remove him.

3.Is there any perofomer of that unit got sacked?

With out answers for these question a solution cannot be found out. Managers could be real damagers also. There could be some serious issue if not solved, will spread as a disease. At lease the employees written a letter, that meen they want to have some solution from the company. And its a pity for any Unit head who reached this situation or created this situation.

His department should have gone there with you, arrange a skip level meeting with the employees. Understand what exactly is the problem. What solution they want.sit with the Unit head and listen what he has to tell. If Unit head is guilty, he has to be removed. He could be a problem most probably. Employees will form union if their dignity is questioned. After discussion train the Unit head to lead the employees than managing, and damaging if company cant remove them. If any perofomer goes to union, the moral support for the union will be high and it matters. Employees should get the feeling that they are taken care otherwise they will demand many un acceptable things also once they form Union. There is a conflict and you will have to try to solve it. Proper diologue, simple and sinceare communication can solve most of the problem.
31st July 2013 From India, Mumbai
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