Who Should Handle Employee Complaints?

A necessary part of running a business, whether it’s a large company or a small company, is handling complaints from your employees. These complaints can be relatively minor, such as someone wanting a different schedule or higher pay, or they can involve more severe issues such as harassment (sexual or otherwise) or discrimination (based on gender, sexual orientation, age, race, religion, or some other factor).

Part of deciding who should handle an employee complaint involves determining how severe the complaint is. If, for example, you are a department manager and your employee’s complaint is a minor issue that can be resolved within your department, it may be something you can handle yourself without directly involving your human resources department or your general manager.

That being said, if the complaint is a serious one (or if at any point you feel out of your depth when confronted with the possibility of handling the issue on your own) you should absolutely transfer the matter to your human resources (HR) department. They are trained to handle all forms of employee complaints and problems and will be able to decide the best course of action moving forward.

An effective human resources department will be able to objectively review the facts of the complaint without bias or prejudice and come to the best resolution for both the employee and the company. In more serious cases, an additional mediator may be called upon or higher management involved in the complaint review process in order to get the matter resolved as thoroughly as possible and with the best results possible.

Some serious complaints or issues that should be handled by an HR department include (but are not limited to):

  • Payroll disputes. If you or another employee believes that there might be something wrong with their paycheck, that is a matter that should be handed over to human resources immediately, since they are (in most companies, at least) responsible for all payroll matters. Additionally, if there are any issues regarding employee benefits, those are also an HR matter.
  • Harassment complaints. While a harassment complaint can sometimes be filed with whoever your supervisor or acting manager is (assuming, of course, that they are not the offending party), it’s often best to simply go directly to HR (especially if the harassment is sexual in nature or if you feel threatened by the perpetrator’s behavior). By going straight to HR, you won’t have to deal with any potential conflicts of interest on the part of the manager and you can rest assured that your complaint made it to the human resources department and will be investigated.
  • Workplace Discrimination. If discrimination of any sort is taking place, HR should be contacted immediately because such behavior is illegal and you should file a formal complaint. They will be able to investigate the validity of your claim and then respond accordingly.

Workplace injury or medical leave. Worker’s comp and paid medical leave are also matters handled by the human resources department, so if there is an employee who needs to discuss those matters it’s often best to forward them directly to HR.

How to Respond to an Employee’s Serious Illness

There are few moments in a person’s life that is more stressful than finding out that they have a serious illness. Not only are they worried about their own quality or length of life, but they are worried about financial issues like losing their job when the diagnosis comes in. How are they going to pay for treatments? How will they continue to support their family? These are all concerns that they have. As a business, knowing how to respond to their illness and their concerns is important for everyone involved.

The first thing that you should know is that employees who have a serious illness are protected by the law. Such acts include the federal and state FMLA laws, Americans with Disabilities Act, and any other state employment laws that you should be familiar with. Employees can also choose not to disclose their illness to you, which is well within their right under the law. If they have disclosed their illness to you, you will need to figure out the nature of their illness (is it mental or physical?) before you can determine how to move forward. In this case the focus will be on serious physical illnesses.

The primary questions that you should be asking at first are how this affects their ability to do their current job and if there are any physical limitations to address. Getting a doctor’s note from your employee can be a great help to you as you decide the answer to these questions. After this, you should find out if this is a long-term illness or a short-term one. If the employee does not help you to figure these things out, you are able to continue treating them as if there are no limitations to their job.

Once you get the answers to these questions, you need to figure out if you can accommodate any limitations, such as if there is another job that they can perform at your company or adjusting their duties or schedule. If accommodations cause an undue hardship on your company that you can legally prove, you can address this. Is there a leave of absence option available to them to handle a short-term illness? Does FMLA on the state or federal level apply here? Track FMLA leave where you can and you are able to ask for updates on their health if necessary.When they return to their normal job functions, you can require the employee to have a doctor’s note that clears them for regular activity. There may be limitations when they return at first that you need to accommodate and you will have to plan accordingly in case there is a relapse.

Unfortunately, every situation is different and requires their own method of how to handle an employee’s serious illness. Be sure to empathize with your employee, showing them compassion during this stressful time for them. It is also important to familiarize yourself with all applicable laws as well as documenting everything that you can. Documentation can help protect you if issues come up in the future.

Easy Time Clock™ is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

Our new APP is here!

The Apple app was launched several months ago, but now we’ve got the Android app up and ready for download in the Play Store! If your employees use the mobile app, there is some important information you need to know:

  1. The Apple app was an automatic update, but Android is a new app that will need to be downloaded. It can be found by searching “Easy Time Clock” in the Play Store.
  2. The new app will not be compatible with most phones older than 2012. To help with the transition for anyone who might be using an older phone, the original app will remain active for several months. The original app is in the Play Store as “Easy Time Clock Legacy.”
  3. The new app should have improved GPS function, an option for auto logout, and is finally not that silly, old time clock!
  4. An email will be sent out to all employees with access to the mobile app instructing them to look for the new app in the Play Store.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our friendly staff at support@easytimeclock.com.

Special Mention for the Aspire Award Nominees Rob and Beth Allen

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Young Professionals are gearing up for their 2nd annual Horizon Awards event at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 23 at the La Bella Event Center. This year, area businessman Mike Crandall is a nominee for an award, and the young professionals are presenting a special award to their advisor entitled, “the Leadership Impact Award.”   

Jill McCartney, CEO & President of the Northwest Oklahoma City Chamber, is this year’s recipient of the special award.

“Jill has been very involved with the OKC Young Professionals since its inception in 2012. She has consistently been a great mentor to all young professionals through her leadership and stewardship. Her leadership has not only impacted all of those around her but has also inspired others to pursue leadership roles within their own communities,” said Terrance Craft, Chairman of the Oklahoma City Young Professionals.

The Leadership Impact Award is not the only special award that will be presented during the night. Other special awards include The Aspire Award and The Horizon Award.

The Aspire Award honors an established CEO / business owner in the Oklahoma City metro who young professionals “aspire” to be like one day. The Horizon Award honors young professionals who will be considered the “ones-to-watch” in the upcoming years in positively impacting the OKC metro with their knowledge, experience and leadership.

“What’s great about this event is not only are we recognizing up-and-coming young professionals, we are also recognizing and honoring those that came before us. CEOs and business owners that paved the way for us young professionals. It all comes full circle.” 

This year’s nominees for the Aspire Award (Most Admired CEO) are:Lawrence Ross, LMRoss; Mike Crandall, Sandler Training of Oklahoma; Debbie Lowery, Running Wild Catering; Jeff Cooper, Community Builders Church; and Beth & Rob Allen, Easy Time Clock.

The nominees for the Horizon Award will be revealed later this month via the OKC Young Professionals’ Facebook page. 

Other awards that are set to be presented during the ceremony are: The Connect Award, The Develop Award, Member of the Year and Young Business Owner of the Year.


How Automation Will Affect Your Workforce

Businesses need to learn how to run as efficiently as possible. This will give them the edge that they need to thrive. Thanks to the numerous cloud-based services available today, automation is becoming easier than ever for businesses to achieve. When people hear automation, they automatically think that they will be losing their jobs. However, automation has the ability to increase efficiency and make your life a lot easier around the workplace. This will take a look at how automation will impact the workforce today.

The first thing that should be addressed is how automation can make life easier in the workplace. The biggest part of this is how they can reduce the amount of repetitive and mundane tasks that employees have to handle themselves. This ultimately reduces the workload that a person has to handle and allows them to focus on being more creative or other more complicated tasks. For instance, businesses are using kiosks for check-ins at airports or to get simple movie tickets for a showing. Rather than replacing humans, this takes simple tasks and completed them for employees. The staff can now focus on more complicated issues, like customer complaints or answering questions that customers may have.

There are some jobs that automation can’t handle. An HR department can use automation to deal with some of their clerical work, but the HR department is still very necessary for that human connection between the company and their employees. Through certain cloud-based HR programs, the HR department can store information without filling their office with paperwork. Any data is right there at their fingertips. They can handle a lot of the on-boarding tasks through software and can even take their jobs on the go with them so that they never miss a beat.

Automation offers a lot of benefits in the workplace. You will notice an increase in customer satisfaction because they get the quick and efficient process that they want with customer service available when they need it. Automation will improve employee productivity and efficiency, which will help boost your profits. These also all help to bring your products and services to market faster. There are few downsides to implementing automation for your workforce. Automation frees up a lot of your employees’ time so that they can focus on other tasks that will improve your business.

The idea of automation can be daunting for businesses. This is primarily because there are a lot of misconceptions about automation, such as how people will lose their jobs or it is too complicated to implement. By working with your tech department and your employees, you can get everyone on the same page about automation through education. Tell them how automation will improve the workplace for them. This will help you to build support for the new changes and help employees to understand why automation isn’t so scary. Your employees’ time is valuable to your business, making it essential to find ways for you to find automation that makes sense for your business.

Easy Time Clock™ is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

Watch our CEO’s interview with the Local Okie

On the 26th episode of #TheLocalOkie, I spoke with the CEO of Easy Time Clock and LilyPad, Alisha Gardner.We discussed their Easy Time Clock management solutions for employers as well as LilyPad, their all-in-one product for in-home care providers.

Posted by The Local Okie on Friday, June 15, 2018


Learn about Easy Time Clock, The HR Insider, MyLilyPadApp and whats on the horizon for the Easy Time Clock team!

Our CEO to be a panelist at Geekapalooza!

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Alisha Gardner will be joining the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma and Metro Family Magazine for both Women in STEAM sessions at Geekapalooza (Session 1 – 11 to 11:30 a.m.; Session 2 – 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.)!

With 10 years of real estate experience, Alisha developed her abilities to understand needs and serve people, and she brings this knowledge to Easy Time Clock both in her management style and in developing lasting client relationships. Alisha has a selfless, kind spirit, and she is always the first to step in and help however she can. Alisha graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science just before the birth of her son, Hunter; she intended to become a science teacher.