Photo of Employees gossiping about workplace gripes

Problems at work with a co-worker or supervisor?

Are your workplace gripes fair and legitimate ones?

How long have you had this complaint?

Does your employer offer good guidance regarding how to handle conflicts in the workplace and what to do if you need help?

Would you be described more as a whiner by your co-workers or a person who proactively seeks fair resolutions?

What have you done to help with brainstorming about possible solutions to your current workplace complaints?

Want to be part of the solution and have another chance to demonstrate your leadership qualities and skills?

If so, then let me share the following policy and procedures with you for handling employee and other workplace related complaints.  I recommend this policy to all my clients and their employees.  Consistently, their results after implementing it have included: reduced stress for employees and management, faster implementation of needed changes, employees learning to think like managers, managers learning the value of  asking for their employees ideas and input more often, a drastic reduction in workplace non-productive griping behind closed doors and improved morale office-wide.

My recommended “Quit Griping, Start Resolving” Policy:

  • Voice your concerns in writing…..create a first draft for-your-eyes-only that includes how you REALLY feel …… then shred it, rewrite until it is clear, succinct, professionally stated
  • Include in this memo at least two possible, reasonable and affordable solutions that would be worthwhile resolutions for management/ leadership to consider
  • Include a request that after the recipient has had time to review your memo and the situation that you would like to meet with them to discuss it further
  • After delivering your concerns and resolution proposal to the appropriate supervisory person, place a reminder in your calendar to follow up with him or her in 1 week in case they haven’t responded by then
  • Make sure you are not continuing to gripe about the issues addressed in your memo to others or continuing to stress over it yourself … you’ve done what you could to find a fair and workable resolution AND you’ve done so in a professional and productive manner

Employees — Realize that management may or may not adopt one of your solutions….once a decision is made, however, trust that the best decision for the firm or business as a whole has been made by leadership…and if trust is something you don’t have for management, that’s a much larger problem and it may be time for you to make a change

Employers —  If you implement this system and have employees who either refuse to participate or do participate and then STILL keep griping even after a resolution is applied, you may have what I call a “Killer Bee” on your hands!  This is that type of employee who chronically sports a bad attitude…loves to stir up trouble…always complaining, etc.  If you’ve given them every possible chance to make the necessary attitude adjustments and they don’t do it, get rid of them…no matter how great their skills may be, the morale killing fallout and other damages to their co-workers’ productivity, work quality and stress from their constant bad attitudes trump those talents.

The best part of my suggestions above is that you can try them even if the powers-that-be in your workplace don’t have a similar policy or worse, they offer no conflict resolution guidance or policies. This  method of how to handle workplace gripes has been successfully tried and proven many times by my clients through the years. Whether you can use bits and pieces of this conflict resolution policy or all of it, I’m for anything that helps us reduce the unproductive, morale busting fallout of unresolved tensions in the workplace.

Wishing you  work you love doing with minimal workplace gripes and with others who, like you, want to minimize the ugliness of the conflicts we humans are so good at generating.  And as always, thanks for sharing a part of your day with!

About the author 

Nancy Byerly Jones

Nancy Byerly Jones and her husband reside on their mountainside ranch (“Little Hee Haw Farm”) with an energetic “family” of horses, donkeys (large and miniature), dogs and cats. Their favorite pastime is sharing the joy and fun of their animals and ranch life with their family, friends and clients.

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