Grievances represent situations in which employees feel that they have not been treated fairly. A grievance may broadly be defined as any discontent or dissatisfaction, whether expressed or not and whether valid or not, arising out of anything related to the organization that an employee thinks, believes or feels is unfair, unjust or inequitable.

A grievance may relate to excessively long hours of work, unfair treatment in promotion, non-fulfillment of terms and conditions of service, non-implementation of the Government orders etc.

A grievance is the embryo of serious trouble to come because accumulation of minor grievances may lead to major conflicts in the organization. Hence, prompt and effective handling of grievances is necessary for peace in the organization.

If the grievance is real and genuine, it is necessary to take corrective action; but if it is imaginary, there is need of explaining and clearing up of the matter.


If the grievance is not handled properly, the employees will feel frustrated which may lead to so many troubles in the organization. Therefore, it is advisable to develop an effective grievance procedure in the organization.

Procedure for Handling Grievance

In practice, it may not always be possible to settle the grievances internally through negotiations between the management and the employee concerned or the union representative. In such cases, the grievance or complaint may be settled through conciliation or arbitration. The procedure for referring grievances for conciliation or arbitration is as follows:

(i) Conciliation Procedure:


Conciliation refers to the process of reconciliation of the differences between the two parties. Under this method, a third party known as the conciliator acts as a link between the two parties to bring about a compromise or settlement.

This is possible when both the parties agree to submit their differences for conciliation by an agreed third party. As a neutral party, he suggests the basis of compromise or settlement which may be acceptable to both the parties,

(ii) Arbitration:

When the process of conciliation fails to bring about agreement between the parties, the grievance of dispute may be referred to arbitration.


Both the parties voluntarily agree to submit differences to a neutral third party or umpire, known as arbitrator. Both the parties, the management and the employee or union, agree beforehand that the decision of the arbitrator will be final and binding on both the parties.

Whatever may be the grievance procedure developed by an organization, it must be simple and unambiguous. It must be developed with the co-operation of employees and must be accepted by all in the organization.

The grievance procedure should ensure the speedy redressed of the grievances and must be capable of ensuring a sense of satisfaction to the individuals concerned. As far as possible, the procedure should have a limited number of steps with the provision for at least one appeal.