As a leader, how do you reduce the complaining among staff members?
In the workplace, we hope that everyone behaves in an adult manner. Right? Then why do individual staff members - or even teams - still whine sometimes? It's part of the human condition to complain, but it doesn't have to derail your group. When people on your team get frustrated and need a sympathetic ear, do the following:
- Insist on personal accountability. Don't allow people to present a problem without attempting to bring forward a solution or two. Advise them to do what they think is necessary to achieve results.
- Encourage positivity. If the whining is about fellow members of staff, encourage the group to work with each other to better understand the nature of the problem, and then create a joint solution. Remind them that most people aren't intentionally difficult.
- Support them in solving the issue. Some members of staff may need help in how to approach a colleague with whom they have difficulty. Support your staff member in building the skills to approach the troublesome colleague in a productive manner.
Adapted from "The No Whining Rule for Managers" by Ron Ashkenas.