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To measure and determine the real cost of employee grievances, organizations should gather and store notes and records about employee complaints in a central location so that the time spent on each case—and the cost associated with that time—can be measured and minimized.
It’s not enough to tell members of the C-suite that HR has investigated a certain number of grievances in a month, according to Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR, co-founder and chief performance officer for Intellectual Capital Consulting of Atlanta. “You have to be able to say what [the complaints] cost the company,” she said during a webinar held March 29, 2012.
Five Key Metrics
In“Five Employee Relations Metrics You Should Be Tracking & Why,” hosted by Dovetail Software, Missildine-Martin recommended tracking the:
Missildine-Martin encouraged webinar participants to look at grievances “from a continuous improvement and prevention mind-set” in order to control costs. “With our companies having to watch every nickel and dime, we have to make sure we are efficient” by taking steps to ensure that the organization avoids lawsuits that will impact the bottom line, she said.
The goal is to have a culture where everyone is treated fairly, she said, by identifying and preventing the root cause of employee complaints.
As an example, Missildine-Martin explained that organizations can measure employee turnover without having any idea what is causing employees to leave. However, when an organization “peels back the layers” by measuring turnover by manager, location or division, it can begin to hone in on trouble spots. And when other sources of data, such as exit interviews and employee complaints, are compared to turnover figures, they will be positioned better to identify areas that might need improvement.
The same is true for employee grievance data, she said.
Why Track Grievance-Related Metrics?
According to Missildine-Martin, the measurement and analysis of employee relations issues such as grievances and complaints can:
“Data lead to insights; insights lead to action,” she said.
Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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