Whine and complain the same thing

"Mimimi" - Why employees whine and what managers can do

You can no longer hear it: Always the same whining! Your employees approach you almost every day with the same complaints. As a manager, this now goes in one ear and out the other. It's all just "Mimimi" anyway, isn't it? We'll tell you how to really stop the eternal co-worker lament and why it's more valuable than you might think.

Is constant dissatisfaction with employees normal?

People complain. It's part of our culture. While there is a little more life satisfaction in other regions of the world, we Germans are in principle rather disgruntled.

The reasons for this can be varied: one person may have too little salary, the other would like more flexible working hours and the third person may have too long communication channels or the projects are progressing too slowly. Managers are also confronted with a number of different characters:

  • highly motivated high achievers
  • lazy free riders
  • unsettled young professionals
  • listless almost retirees
  • stressed part-time parents
  • and much more m.

Managers should learn to love complaints

Conflicts cannot be avoided when so many different personalities work together. In addition, you always have at least one team member who loves to complain from morning to night. Guaranteed! Whines and complaints are therefore part of everyday working life for virtually every manager. Nothing about that can be changed in the future. What you can change, however, is How you deal with the lamentations of your employees.

If you love ailments and learn to deal with them properly, wonderful progress can result from them. On the other hand, if these are ignored in the long term, dissatisfaction grows among those affected, with all its negative consequences for the team, the department and the entire company that are there

  • increasing conflicts
  • bad working atmosphere
  • falling productivity
  • lack of innovations
  • stagnating further development
  • Shortcomings in communication
  • high sick leave
  • and much more m.

So stop whining about the whining, dear managers. Rather, set a good example and begin to see complaints as an opportunity.

Complaints are your chance to innovate

If you find the right way to deal with complaints from your employees, this can have numerous positive effects:

  1. The trust in you as a manager grows when the employees can come to you with their concerns without having to fear a fit of anger or even the dismissal.
  2. You can encourage employees to become active themselves and thereby strengthen their creativity, personal responsibility and job satisfaction.
  3. You can get rid of grievances at an early stage and thereby reduce the error rate.
  4. You relieve yourself as a manager, as complaints are handled constructively and quickly resolved.
  5. Ultimately, everyone involved is more satisfied, from the boss to the employees to the end customer: a win-win situation!

Managers take note: 5 steps to the correct handling of complaints

  1. Have an open ear
  2. Introduce fixed rules
  3. Appeal to responsible employees
  4. Introduce a “box of ideas”
  5. Keep a complaint diary

So that you can take advantage of all these positive effects of complaints and turn them into a real opportunity for the company, you should proceed in the following five steps:

Step # 1: Have an open ear!

A complaint can only be resolved if it is heard. For this reason, it is important that employees trust themselves to come to you with a problem. You need to have an open ear and appear authentic and predictable. For this it is important that you do not stay friendly one day and chase the employee out of the office with a red head and a fit of anger the next. Even if it is sometimes difficult: Listen to complaints and remain calm, friendly and professional.

Step # 2: Establish Fixed Rules!

Of course, you don't have to play a shrink and listen to every aimless lament from your dissatisfied employees. You can - and should - introduce fixed rules for dealing with complaints. Communicate this openly and in a way that is understandable for everyone involved. For example, create a corresponding to-do listso that every employee knows how to deal with complaints.

Step # 3: Appeal to empowered employees!

Such a to-do list could look like this, for example:

  • If a complaint arises, the employee should make a note of it.
  • Then he should independently write down at least three concrete solutions (this will prevent aimless whining).
  • With these three constructive solutions, he can now come to you as a superior and can then count on your attention.
  • In a one-to-one conversation, you decide together on the next steps.

In this way, you appeal to the employees' personal responsibility, promote their creativity and problem-solving skills and automatically relieve themselves as a superior.

Step # 4: Introduce an "idea box"!

Of course, it is even better if you prevent symptoms before they even arise. Many employees have numerous ideas on how their day-to-day work could be made better, more efficient or more modern. If they don't feel heard, they become dissatisfied. However, some employees may be afraid of being laughed at with their idea. You should therefore introduce an anonymous box of ideas, for example. Every employee can write down suggestions for improvement here. At regular intervals, for example once a month in the team meeting, the box of ideas is then emptied and discussed in the group.

Step # 5: keep a complaint journal!

Nevertheless, there will be one or the other complaint that comes up again and again, but is never dealt with constructively. For example, if you notice in conference calls that the quality of the call is consistently poor, make a note of this. Were there increasing communication problems between department A and department B? So write that down too. Run a little complaint diary with all that whiningwhich comes to your ears, and adjust this from time to time. This allows you to see which ailments occur regularly and should therefore be addressed - and which should not.

Conclusion: No complaining means no progress!

A company without complaining employees is almost unthinkable. Perfectionism may be the goal, but there will always be some problem somewhere and some employee complaining about it. And that's just as well! Only if managers have an open ear for the lament of their employees can grievances be changed for the better. No complaining, however, would mean that there is no progress in the company either. Standing still is a dangerous condition in today's fast-paced business world. Therefore (finally) understand the complaints of your employees as an opportunity for the continuous improvement process and still relieve yourself by handling the whining correctly. Only in this way will everyone benefit in the end!

Or do you have a different view on employee complaints? How do you handle the whining and what specific way do you deal with dissatisfied employees? What positive (or also negative) effects did you observe from this? We look forward to your opinion on the topic in the comments.

Photo credit: RD_Production / Shutterstock.com


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