How to Deal With a Disgruntled Employee About Payroll

how to deal with a disgruntled employee about payroll dispute

How many employees do you have on your payroll? If you're a successful company, taking advantage of the record-breaking number of jobs that are being created in America then the chances are you employe a lot of people.

If this is the case then you will probably have a payroll system set up to manage your employee's payroll. This is payroll done right. But what if something goes wrong and there is a payroll dispute?

Don't despair here is how to deal with a disgruntled employee.


Use Auto-Payroll Programs

Long gone are the days where payroll was done by hand or typewriter and filed away in a cupboard somewhere. Today most companies use auto-payroll programs. They automatically record the number of hours an employee has carried out as well as any overtime and their tax code.

When it's time for payday the system will automatically invoice employees a payroll record that lists their earnings. HR and the accounting department barely have to lift a finger.

Such systems make it easier to track what each employee has earned. It's rare that figures are added up wrongly since they're done by a computer. Popular programs include Sage, Workful and Gusto.

Investing in such software can limit the number of mistakes that are made and it's a more transparent system for your employees as they can check the history of the payroll records themselves at any point.

However, even if you use auto-payroll programs mistakes can still happen. Be sure to check out these payroll processing tips if you are struggling.


Carry out a Thorough Investigation

Get a clear picture from your employee or employees as to what they're disputing. Have they worked more hours and not been paid for them? That is the most common problem.

Find out from them:


  • What days and times they're disputing?
  • The true amount they believe they're owed
  • If they have anything that can help them prove their case

Another key way of how to deal with a disgruntled employee is to find out if anyone else has been affected? If the issue is wider than just one employee or even one department then the employee may well have a point.

During your investigation keep an open mind. Have two people investigate the claims, one of whom doesn't usually deal with payroll to make the investigation fair.

If you feel it's necessary, consider employing an independent auditor to investigate the payroll.

Also, remember that if you have an inaccurate payroll it could mean your tax situation and your yearly profit records are also inaccurate. Update your tax situation to the IRS and if you are a company with shareholders then also update your shareholders.


Try to Keep Your Employee on Side

The best solution for how to deal with complaining employees is to ensure they believe their complaints are being taken seriously. Don't patronize them and be sure to inform them of what you are doing to investigate.

Talk to them in a calm and reasonable manner. The worst thing you can do is to attack them or shout them down. This can alienate them and create a negative workplace while the investigation is taking place. This is not good for productivity or staff morale.

Not only this, if you have made a mistake then they could end up deciding to file a lawsuit against you which would cause negative publicity.

There is a misconception of the litigious American when in fact most Americans want fairness and justice. Most Americans will only sue if they feel they're not being heard.

Reassure your employees that they can confide in you and make complaints about payroll confidentially to ensure that they're not penalized by other disgruntled managers while any investigation is carried out.


If it was a Genuine Mistake Apologize and Consider Offering a Small Amount of Compensation

We all make mistakes, it's a fact of life, even when we have an auto payroll service to ensure payroll done right.

If you have made a mistake then be sure to offer your employees some compensation by way of apology. This is not mandatory but it's a pleasant gesture that shows you are a company that cares.

Disgruntled employees can bring down staff morale and make the workplace a toxic environment. This can affect productivity and the general reputation of the company.

By offering compensation you are showing that where there are problems in the company you will take action, boosting the morale of the employees by ensuring they have confidence in the complaints process.


How to Deal With a Disgruntled Employee? Be Fair and Professional

How to deal with a disgruntled employee or how to deal with complaining employees? Be professional at all times.

A payroll mistake can be annoying for your employees. They can feel as if they have been cheated out of their hard-earned cash. By belittling them or penalizing them for making a complaint you could create a hostile work environment.

Instead, the best way for dealing with a payroll mistake is to stay calm and professional at all times. Create a confidential service so that employees can investigate without feeling as if other managers are going to give them fewer hours or treat them differently for making a complaint.

Ensure that the payroll mistake is investigated thoroughly and then report back with clear actionable goals going forward.

If you are interested in reading more about how to deal with a disgruntled employee then be sure to check out the rest of our site. Visit the HR section of our business blog right now for additional articles on dealing with disgruntled employees and employee management.

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