Listen To All That Whining!

Have you reviewed disappointing employee survey results? Questions about careers and development conversations with managers are often a sticky category. Does this area yield complaints in your organization as well? Individual development planning conversations are a hard part of any manager’s job, but this type of communication is crucial to an employee’s job satisfaction level. A recent article by Beverly Kaye offers some advice about how to utilize employee frustrations and complaints.

The economic downturn in 2008 has created an environment in which managers are expected to create more with less and reduce, reuse, and recycle – making their jobs more difficult than before. Not to mention that lower employees are dissatisfied with threats of downsizing and job security – creating grumpy employees. So, when it comes to employee surveys, it would be safe the bet that they are riddled with complaints.

HR leaders can make a positive impact by coaching managers on how to use tried-and-true methods to engage employees. A mindset shift is required to help managers use “whine sessions” as opportunities to delve into what’s really important to employees.

By utilizing what employees are complaining about, you can better understand the issues within your organization. This will help to deal with your organization’s developmental issues and create better solutions. The article lists five whines typically encountered and how to deal with them. Here is an example:

A whine for the future: “Things are changing so fast. I don’t know what to expect around the next turn, and things seem so unstable.” In response, managers can:

  • Prepare employee for changes on the horizon.
  • Share which skills and abilities are essential to the organization’s future.
  • Enable employees to anticipate and manage change more efficiently.
  • Define organizational norms and culture more clearly.
  • Help employees make more informed development decisions.

There are several different classifications for these whines: a whine of value, a brand of whine, a choice whine, and a select whine. Dealing with all of these whines and complaints can be tedious and difficult. However, if you learn to listen to their true meanings, it can only help your organization in the long-run. To read more about how your managers can respond to all the whining, click here to read all the details.

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