How To Handle Complainers In The Workplace

It’s seems like every workplace has that one employee (or maybe more) who just like to complain. Complainers at work can drain you and your co-workers of energy, focus, and desire, resulting in an adverse impact on moral and even your company’s bottom-line. Ignoring chronic complainers can be like sticking your head in the sand and hoping it changes over time is not a solution. Few seem to realize the actual impact that these staff members have on your company and its culture and the long term effects it can produce. In order to effectively deal with complainers, consider utilizing the following three courses of action (or steps):
Step One
As the business owner or manager assess how you feel about the complainer. Don’t get hung-up on the negative; instead focus on the positives that the employee brings to your company. Focus on having a non-emotional discussion with the complainer–be positive.  Address the complainer with the attitude that you are striving to create a positive change or solution. 
Step Two
Make a plan with the complainer on how you want to address his or her concerns or perceived issues moving forward. For instance:
  • Involve the complainer is developing a solution. Acknowledge the concerns of the complainer. During discussions with the complainer focus on solving the problem instead of just venting. Ask for solution ideas.  You want the complainer involved in the solution—they need to have buy-in. This approach with the complainer sets a good example for the rest of the staff. 
  • Make the complainer feel comfortable with offering ideas.  It may be necessary for you to throw out some ideas (prime the pump so that the complainer sees what you are looking for. Make them feel at ease.

Step Three
Be encouraging and appreciative for the complainer’s cooperation and constructive feedback. You have to avoid focusing on any negatives.  Just keep the complainer on track by acknowledging and supporting the constructive feedback from the complainer.  Be consistent in how you address the complainer or different complainers over time.
Remember, negativity breeds more negativity. So, it’s crucial to address complainers early. Strive to create a positive, professional, and productive environment at work.  Negativity is “contagious”, so it’s important to recognize it, address it, and turn it around. With planning and follow-through, you’ll create a business environment where positive attitudes are recognized and rewarded and where your employees can feel good about themselves and your company.
Remember that your PEO Services Provider can offer you and your managers a variety of Human Resources solutions and resources, in addition to consultative support.  So feel free to contact our HR Department or your LL Roberts Group PEO Consultant for more information or support.  Reach the LL Roberts Group (toll free) at 877.878.6463 or you can talk to us on Facebook!

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