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What to Look for in a Complaint Management System

Not all complaints management systems are the same. Your organization needs a system that addresses employee complaints quickly and effectively.

Posted by Ann Snook on July 9th, 2019

Employee complaints point out issues in the workplace, which can be stressful and enlightening at the same time. From safety hazards to harassment issues, every complaint deserves to be addressed quickly and appropriately.

However, not all complaint management systems are created equal. You need a system that captures every complaint, keeps investigations on track and helps you analyze risk. Without an anonymous reporting system, intuitive workflow and an online platform, your system could be lowering the effectiveness of your employee complaint investigations.


Download this employee complaint form template to properly document complaints in your workplace.


Why Do I Need a Complaint Management System?


Addressing every employee complaint shows that you care about your staff. You want to emphasize that their safety and well-being is your top priority. Having a complaint management system can help you manage issues with:

  • harassment
  • discrimination
  • health and safety
  • violence
  • theft
  • ethics and compliance


Showing that you can resolve complaints in a timely, effective manner will give your employees more confidence in their workplace. It can also save your company from hefty legal fees. Employees who feel that their concerns were not properly addressed may take legal action, which could lead to reputation damage and fines.


RELATED: How to Handle Harassment Complaints in 2019


Features To Look For in a Complaint Management System


Having a complaint management system in your workplace is essential, but having a good system is even more important. Using separate systems for each department in your organization or using outdated systems puts you at risk. Important information may fall through the cracks, leading to duplication of effort, missed data or delays in the investigation. When selecting a system for dealing with employee complaints, there are four key features you should look for.


Anonymous Intake Mechanism

An anonymous intake mechanism offers employees a way to report issues without fear. Smart webforms, email-to-case and integration with existing systems or hotlines help you capture every complaint. The mechanism should include a secure method of communicating with the reporter while protecting their anonymity. Emphasize your organization’s commitment to employee well-being as well as your zero-tolerance policy towards retaliation.


Guided Workflow

A good complaint management system helps you keep your investigations on track, no matter how many you have on the go at one time. Choose a system with workflow features such as:

  • Instant case assignment
  • Notifications when a task is coming due
  • Case prioritization
  • Role-defined levels of access to protect sensitive data
  • All complaint information and associated documents in case file


With an organized, intuitive system, you spend less time tracking down information and remembering deadlines and more time resolving employee complaints.


RELATED: How to Handle Employee Complaints: The AIRR Model


Reporting Function to Analyze Risk

Addressing and resolving employee complaints is critical, but being able to spot problem areas and prevent further incidents can also make your organization a better place to work for every employee. Look for a complaint management system with a reporting function that offers deep analysis into the complaints you receive. Using maps, charts and graphs, you can identify patterns and hotspots so you can stop issues before they start. For example, a heat map can uncover multiple complaints of the same type in a specific location. This may indicate a need for better training or the presence of a problem manager.


Online Platform

A web-enabled, mobile-friendly platform ensures you capture every complaint. Not only can employees submit complaints from wherever they have an internet connection, investigators can update case files anywhere, anytime. This allows you to log information and evidence while it’s still fresh. Waiting until you get back to the office to add interview notes or other details could cost you a thorough, timely complaint resolution.


The AIRR Model of complaint management ensures every employee complaint is handled promptly, effectively and fairly. Learn how to use it with our free checklist.

Ann Snook
Ann Snook

Marketing Writer

Ann is a marketing writer at i-Sight Software. She writes about issues related to investigations of fraud, employee misconduct, corporate security, Title IX, ethics & compliance and more.

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