When confronted with serious frustrations at work, you may have to resort to writing a grievance letter to your Human Resources department. Although the inclination is to place blame, express anger, or complain, nothing will be resolved without details. You should take time to calm down and think logically about the situation. After you have had a few days of separation from the incident, make sure that the problem cannot be solved between you and the other party privately. When a grievance letter is the last option, follow these steps for a successful communication.
Allow three or more days time after the incident before you begin writing. Try to calm down and reassess the situation. See it from the other party's point of view. Make sure it was not a misunderstanding. Attempt to solve it privately if it will not put you in a dangerous or especially aggravating situation.
Write down the details of the incident(s). Include the times, dates and locations. Fact-check with other employees who may have been indirectly involved.
Write a first draft using the details you jotted down. List witnesses and their contact information. Let yourself write freely, even if you convey anger, sadness or desperation in your first draft.
Decide what kind of an outcome would benefit you, the other party and the company. Suggest this solution in your letter.
Re-read your first draft after you have had time to calm down. Take out opinions or feelings that are not supported by evidence. Realise that the facts will speak to the HR director better than rantings.
Do not share your letter with others, as grievance letters are intended to be private. E-mail the letter to your HR director and wait for her to arrange a meeting or other appointment.
Never write a grievance letter without facts. If a grievance letter is composed solely of feelings and opinions, the HR director will have limited ways to confront the problem.
Tips and warnings
- Never write a grievance letter without facts. If a grievance letter is composed solely of feelings and opinions, the HR director will have limited ways to confront the problem.