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Employee Complaint Procedure

Employee Complaint Procedure

Run this checklist if you need to lodge a workplace complaint. The HR team will take over the process once the complaint has been made.
Adding basic details:
Add personal information
Registering the complaint:
Name the person/people involved
Select the type of issue
Discuss the issue in detail
Write down supporting information
Reviewing the complaint:
Assign HR to handle the complaint
Ensure HR staff take over
Send an acknowledgment message
Consider notifying employee's manager
Invite other person/people to a conversation
Add information regarding the conversation
Consider inviting the complaint author to a discussion
Invite complaint author to a discussion
Add notes about the conversation
Decide on appropriate action
Resolving the complaint:
Follow up with the complaint author
Consider if the incident has been resolved
Write down potential further action
Note how the incident was resolved
Understand checklist archival
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As a company scales, its workforce grows. This is usually positive. However, there’s also a higher chance for negative interactions to occur due to the increase in staff number.

With this in mind, what’s one of the best ways to tackle any potential workplace negativity head-on?

With an employee complaint procedure.

This particularly procedure starts with the complainant lodging their complaint, adding information regarding who was involved and when it happened. 

The HR team will then be assigned (by the complainant) to the rest of the tasks in the procedure, which provide steps on dealing with and resolving the issue(s).

Worryingly, only 58.9% of organizations track employee relation matters. Make sure your company takes its employees’ concerns seriously by following this procedure.

Adding basic details:

This following short section ensures that your basic details are added for the HR team.

Ensure stop tasks are applied to the two next tasks – in addition to other crucial tasks where information is required – so they aren’t skipped over. Learn more about stop tasks via the video below.

Add personal information

Add relevant personal information in the name, email, department, and job title fields underneath.

So that the incident can be recognized and resolved, a small amount of information regarding who you are is required.

Registering the complaint:

The next section will guide you through the process of registering the complaint.

Name the person/people involved

Name the person or people involved with the incident.

In order to establish who is involved with the incident, name the person or people who you’re filing a complaint against.

If you don’t know their name(s) or the department(s) they work in, use the description box (the last form field) provided to give information on their appearance or any other relevant details.

Select the type of issue

Select an issue from the list below which most aligns with the incident that’s happened or is happening.

Defining the issue will help the HR team take the necessary action as swiftly as possible.

The dropdown below is multi-choice. If the incident has multiple elements (e.g. religious-related discrimination and inappropriate gesturing), choose more than one option. If the options don’t cover the incident’s type, use the text box to describe what kind of issue it is.

  • 1

  • 2

    Name calling
  • 3

    Inappropriate comment
  • 4

    Inappropriate gesture
  • 5

    Inappropriate touching
  • 6

    Sexual harassment
  • 7

    Act(s) of racism
  • 8

    Act(s) of sexism
  • 9

    Act(s) of homophobia
  • 10

    Act(s) of transphobia
  • 11

    Act(s) of misogyny
  • 12

    Act(s) of ageism
  • 13

    Religious-related discrimination
  • 14


Discuss the issue in detail

Discuss the issue further by explaining what happened, where it happened, and when.

Now that the incident has been defined in the previous task, it’s time to expand on the incident itself.

Although the incident in question may be difficult to think about, try to explain what happened in as much detail as possible. Doing so will give the HR team information on exactly what happened, helping them to take the appropriate course of action.

Write down supporting information

Write down any additional information you think will help the HR team in the text box.

By completing the previous steps, the incident should now be thoroughly identified. However, if there are additional comments you would like to make, do so now by writing them in the text box.

Reviewing the complaint:

The incident has now been lodged. A member of the HR team should complete the next sections in this employee complaint procedure to ensure it is handled and dealt with correctly.

Assign HR to handle the complaint

Type in the HR team’s email to assign the HR team to review the complaint.

The complaint has now been logged. Type in the HR team’s general email address so that they can review the complaint. By entering the email address, the HR team is automatically assigned to the next tasks via role assignments.

Role assignments is a Business Pro-only feature.

After entering the HR team email, close this checklist.

Ensure HR staff take over

Ensure HR takes over the procedure from this point by confirming your name via the text box.

The following steps in the procedure can only be completed by HR staff. If you’re a member of the HR team, add your name to the text box below.

If you’re not a member of the HR team, close this checklist.

Remind yourself of HR best practices by reading this list of 12 HR management tips.

Send an acknowledgment message

Send an acknowledgment message to the person who lodged the complaint.

Send them an acknowledgment message to let them know their complaint has been read and the HR team is processing it. 

Consider notifying employee’s manager

Consider notifying employee’s manager so that they’re aware of the situation.

Informing a manager about the incident could ensure that any further negative actions don’t take place, as they could intervene.

Invite other person/people to a conversation

Invite the other party to a conversation about the allegation.

It’s important to hear the other person’s side of the story. Having a face-to-face discussion is the best way to converse with the person or party in question, as opposed to over the phone, for instance.

In the email inviting them to discuss, make sure to tell them what the accusation consists of. Edit the text yourself to confirm that it’s correct.

Add information regarding the conversation

After the discussion has taken place, add information regarding what was said.

So that you have a written account of what both parties have said about the situation, note down what the other person or party said during your discussion with them.

By adding this information, it will help you judge which next steps to take in a clear, concise manner.

If you use a note tool, such as Evernote, you can easily push the notes you make here straight into Evernote via Zapier

For more information on how Zapier and how it can be used for Process Street integrations, read this post.

Consider inviting the complaint author to a discussion

Consider inviting the author of the initial complaint to an in-person discussion.

After the in-person discussion with the other person or party, it may be useful to discuss the issue further with the complaint author. Additional details may have come to light, which should be discussed properly face-to-face.

If you believe this is a step that should be taken, select the ‘yes‘ option from the dropdown.

Invite complaint author to a discussion

Invite the complaint author to a face-to-face discussion.

After speaking with the person or people who face the allegation, it may be worth meeting the original author of the complaint.

The email widget below can be used to send an email directly to the complaint author. Edit the below text to your liking, then hit the ‘send’ button to load the message in your email client.

Add notes about the conversation

Add notes about the face-to-face conversation you’ve had with the complaint author.

Similar to how you added notes after speaking to the other party, now add relevant information that came up in your conversation with the complaint author. This information may help to clarify certain issues.

Decide on appropriate action

Take appropriate action(s) and write down which course of action(s) you will take.

You have everything you need to make a judgment on which action or actions to take. Put a plan of action into place and write about it in the text box underneath.

If an employee termination is required, we have a checklist for that which you can find by clicking this link.

Resolving the complaint:

This next section will take you through the appropriate actions of resolving the incident, ensuring that the complaint author knows how the HR team has intervened, and that the complaint procedure process has been fully documented, in case the issue flares up again. 

Follow up with the complaint author

Follow up with the complaint author, informing them of what’s happened.

After you’ve taken action against the other party, follow up with the complaint author. It’s necessary to keep them in the loop regarding the process, seeing as they lodged the complaint themselves. They should be the first to know about the developments.

Consider if the incident has been resolved

Consider if the incident has been resolved by selecting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from the dropdown below.

Taking initial action doesn’t always resolve the incident immediately. It may take another attempt, or it could escalate further. Depending on your answer, the next tasks will change accordingly.

Write down potential further action

Write down what else needs to be done regarding the situation below.

If the situation hasn’t been completely resolved, then note down any further actions that need to be carried out by you or other members of the HR team.

Team building is a great preventative measure to stop future incidents from occurring. The Process Street content team have written a handy list of team building activities.

Note how the incident was resolved

Note how the incident was resolved by adding written information in the form field.

After the incident has been resolved, note how the incident was resolved. If necessary, this information can be used for future reference.

Understand checklist archival

Understand how checklist archival works on the Process Street platform.

The complaint procedure has come to an end, but the information added during the process can still be viewed afterward.

Archived complaint procedures will be particularly useful if cases resurface.

To understand checklist archival, follow the simple set of instructions via this handy post on the help site.


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