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What is the best way to respond to a staff member who raises a grievance with me?

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Your initial response needs to send the message that this staff member's feedback is important and concerning to you. Be sure to give him or her your complete attention and verbalize back to them what you have heard to assure you are clear about their perceptions.

In addition, ask this staff member what he or she would like to see happen in light of this concern. For example, if they claim you are unfair about the holiday schedule, yet you followed the guidelines, ask them how they would like to see this done differently. Is the problem with you or the guidelines?

Let the staff member know you will meet with them again giving them a specific date and time to follow up on their concerns and be sure you do follow through on them.
If the concern they express raises a risk management flag in your mind, meet your manager to inform them of the grievance.

—Shelley Cohen, RN, BSN, CEN