Being a manager means that you’re not only responsible for keeping things running smoothly – you’re responsible for handling things when they’re not working. Keeping the peace in the workplace and ensuring that employee concerns get addressed is part of your job and doing it effectively can make or break your employee relations.
If an employee brings a complaint to you, they’re seeking a solution and support. Handling the situation ineffectively can make them feel as though their issues don’t matter and might prevent them from bringing other problems to you in the future. Even worse, they might go over your head to find solutions if you can’t provide them.
The first step to adequately dealing with employee complaints is to ensure that you’ve fully understood their concerns. Read the letter over multiple times before meeting the employee in private to ask if your interpretation of their concerns is correct. Ask for additional details if you need them. Ensure that you understand what the problem is, and what components you’re able to control and solve.
- Find a Solution
Of course, the purpose of an employee complaint is to find a solution for their concern. As a manager, you have more resources at your disposal to deal with workplace issues, but that doesn’t mean that you should keep the original complainant out of the loop. Ask them if they have any ideas for possible solutions and run your solutions by them to determine if they’re suitable.
Of course, some solutions might be impossible, but it’s important to do your best to ensure that the concern is taken care of to the best of your ability.
- Follow up
Just because you’ve implemented a solution, it doesn’t mean that the situation is resolved. Ensure that you follow up with the employee at a later date and ask them to keep you informed on the status of the problem. If the solution you implemented isn’t working, it’s time to try another approach.