How to Raise Problems at Work

Raise Problems at Work


Knowing when to raise an issue

There are all kinds of issues that can occur in a workplace, ranging from the small and commonplace to the unique and serious. If, for instance, your workstation is uncomfortable or you need additional software to carry out your role, this is a more casual chat that you can have with your line manager.

When it comes to larger problems, such as being unhappy with your work hours, salary, colleagues, company policies or a similar topic, it’s best to schedule a one-to-one discussion with your line manager. Alternatively, it might be more suitable to go directly to your HR department, although this is entirely dependent on the nature of the issue and who it involves.


Informal chats

In the case of a small issue, simply ask your line manager if you can talk about it soon whilst respecting their busy schedule. Your line manager should be receptive to discussing your issue in a way that suits the situation, which could be anything from email or instant messenger to a more structured meeting between the two of you.

Prior to the chat, make sure to prepare what you want to say. This will enable you to come across clearly and help your line manager to understand why you consider the issue something that needs to be rectified. Also take time to think about potential solutions, as this will support your line manager in fixing the problem as quickly and effectively as possible.


Ask someone to join you

If the issue affects one or more members of staff other rather than yourself, there’s the option to take them along to an informal group meeting with your line manager. For example, potential health and safety improvements, working environments that are too hot or cold, and obstacles in the way of the workflow are all topics that may benefit from two or three team members joining forces.


Respect your employer

Remember that there’s a very high likelihood that your line manager doesn’t yet know that the issue exists, so provide them with all of the key information and give them chance to ask questions and say their piece. Finding a timeslot that’s mutually convenient and talking through the issue in a calm and respectful way will make the informal meeting run much more smoothly than going in with all guns blazing.


Raising a formal grievance

In the event of a more serious issue, an official complaint may be required. Your employer should have a formal grievance procedure in place, which acts in the best interests of both the employee and the business. This will include documentation of the meeting, guaranteed confidentiality, the right for the employee to bring a relevant person to the meeting if they wish to do so, the investigation into the issue, and action or decision being made either within an agreed timeframe or as soon as possible. As an employee, you should also be given the option to appeal against the outcome if you find it unsatisfactory.

Later on, if you believe the problem hasn’t been resolved, you may also be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal. However, this hopefully won’t be the case, as the vast majority of employers care about the wellbeing of their employees and will endeavour to fix an issue whether it has been raised formally or informally.


Get in touch

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Posted: Fri 01 Oct 2021
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