Dealing With Complainers Effectively

Dealing With Complainers Effectively

October 15, 2018
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Any supervisor or manager deals with complainers in the workplace at some point. There are employees who complain about their co-workers or about the company itself. Complaining is hard to stop but you can deal with it effectively if you put a plan in place.


Complaining Is Harmful

Sadly, there are people who are chronic complainers. This is difficult for others in the workplace and creates a negative atmosphere. This eventually hurts everyone in the business.

So, how can you deal with complaints that are hard to resolve? Handling initial complaints will help avoid future ones.

Types of Complaints

Some complaints are easier to resolve than others. Some common workplace complaints include:

  • Benefit programs
  • Co-workers
  • Old equipment
  • Scheduling vacations and time off
  • Lack of praise
  • Pay raises
  • And many more…

There are complaints that you can’t fix but you can try to resolve the issue.

Handling Initial Complaints

When you hear complaints, your goal is to reduce future complaining. Here are a few steps that will allow you to do that.

Listen To Understand

Whether you feel a complaint is valid or not, you need to listen to what your employee is really telling you. Listen carefully as they talk so they know you’re understanding.

Offer A Solution

Next, you should offer a solution to the problem. A simple, “Let me check on that and see what I can do,” goes a long way.

Get Confirmation

Ask the employee if they agree with your proposed solution. Even if they don’t like it, you’re making a verbal commitment to handle the problem.

How to Resolve Repetitive Complaints

Some employees may come back with the same complaint. When you’ve worked several times to resolve the same complaint, try these methods.

Listen And Defuse

When an employee returns to your office, step up your game. Once again, listen carefully and let them know you understand the issue. Part of your job is to keep peace in the workplace. You want to make sure you’ve done everything possible to solve the issue.

Verbally Summarize The Issue

Now it’s time to summarize the conversations you’ve already had with the employee. Remind them of past conversations and solutions. Tell them the steps you’ve taken to find a solution to the problem.

Put The Responsibility On Them

If you’ve completed the above steps, it’s time to add another step. Make them aware that you both have work to do. Unless they have another solution to the problem, both of you need to return to work. You may have this conversation many times before the person realizes it’s not going the way they want.

These are some ways to effectively deal with complainers that leads to a peaceful working environment. v

~ Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC. Copyright protected. All rights reserved

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