We must have a grievance policy, mustn't we? They're pretty standard, aren't they? Two or three stages including an appeal - that's the standard isn't it?
I hear these things all the time, and it's one of the reasons why I'm often talking to employers and leaders about not being constrained by policies and laws - you can read here why I see this as an issue.
Organisations who train internal mediators to help people nip issues in the bud early really do transform their cultures. No longer do they waste time in formal grievances, and no longer do they rely on engagement surveys to gain employee insights into what's happening and how people feel.
You absolutely don't need the standard grievance procedure. Most of these make a fleeting reference to the informal stage, then go into detail about the formal process - who the employee should write to, who they can be accompanied by, how long they have to appeal, etc. Once they're in the process their positions are driven further apart, and things usually get worse. The grievance doesn't resolve the issues and often because things are so bad they call us for mediation. It's one of the reasons why I'm always banging on about grievances being a failure as over 90% of the time mediation (ie proper conversations) result in the issues being resolved.
Issue resolutions procedures flip things on their head. Having the proper conversations first means over 90% of the issues that would have been formal grievances are nipped in the bud. The time, cost and stress of grievances are then completely avoided and culture is transformed. I've seen this many times, and once you've been there you would never go back!
If you ever need to discuss any of this further please feel free to email me or call me on my mobile which is 07500 831181.