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Chapter 11. Maintaining Harmony Within t... > Preventing Grievances - Pg. 130

Maintaining Harmony Within the Team 130 To ensure that grievances are properly dealt with, and to provide documentation for the procedure, keep a record of the entire procedure. If your company does not provide a form for this, write a report covering what has been done and what resulted and send a copy to the human resources depart- ment. Getting the Authority to Correct a Problem As a result of your investigation, you determine that the complaint is justified, but you do not have the authority to resolve it. Find out who does. Bring the situation to the attention of your boss or whoever can adjust it. Team Builder You can't please everybody. Don't try. It'll drive you crazy. There are times when you have to say no to a team member. Don't be afraid to do so. But help the member understand your reasons and make sure the entire team feels you acted fairly. Diana, a team leader, was frustrated. When she described to her manager, Charles, a problem her team members were having, he promised to rectify it--but he never did. Diana's reminders were rebuffed. She was concerned not only about having to continue to work with this unsatisfactory situation, but also about losing the respect of her team members. She dis- cussed the situation with Elizabeth, a manager who had been her mentor earlier in her career. Elizabeth's advice: "Let Charles know how important it is to your team to have someone listen to their complaints and consider them seriously. Remind Charles that you deal with every problem over which you have authority, but that this one is out of your jurisdiction. Point out that you screen all complaints and don't pass on the ones that aren't justified. If there's a reason that action has not or cannot be taken, you want to know so that you can pass on the information to your team. Tell him that they're reasonable people who understand that they can't get everything they want, but that they expect that their complaints will be taken seriously. Then let your associates know what action you're taking and what results from it." Preventing Grievances Dealing with grievances is time-consuming and takes you away from more productive work. Here are some suggestions for preventing grievances from developing on your team: · Let all team members know how they're doing regularly. People want feedback on not only their failures but also their successes. · Encourage team members to participate in all aspects of planning and performing the team's work. · Keep an open mind about team members' ideas--even if you do not agree with them. · Make only promises that you know you can keep. · Be alert to minor irritations and trivial problems so that you can correct them before they become serious dissatisfactions.