How To Deal With Employees Who Complain

Do you deal with chronic complainers at work? Nothing is ever good enough for these negative and toxic employees. It’s a constant stream of whining, complaining, moaning, and whinging that’s enough to drive anyone crazy.

Nametag of a Chronic Complainer aka "Your Worst Nightmare"

Negativity like this is habit forming, but what’s worse is that it’s terrifyingly contagious for the rest of your staff – and that’s really bad news for you and your company. Chronic complaining directly impacts your company’s performance. It can ultimately hurt your bottom line, lower productivity, hurt employee morale, and increase employee turnover. This is any HR professional’s worst nightmare. Do you know how to deal with employees who complain?

How To Make Sure Your Employees Are Happy

Now it’s important to realize that chronic complaining is different than employees with legitimate gripes. Chronic complaining comes from a constantly negative employee who never has anything good to say. They waste your time with trivial complaints over and over again. For example… We should get paid more. The parking lot is too far away. It’s too cold in here. I only like donuts with sprinkles not with creme filling. The coffee was really weak again. It’s like a broken record.

Chronic complaining is emotionally draining. You can only stand up to so much before you’re going to break, right? But it’s your job to deal with employees who complain.

Remember that your the boss. It’s your job to listen and try to resolve irritating issues. Always smile and listen to a complaint once, but if the same complaint comes up again and again from the same person, it’s time to have a sit down discussion.

First acknowledge the complaint and ask the employee for a solution. Then investigate the situation, make a plan, and act on it accordingly. If there is no realistic solution, explain the bigger picture and let the employee know that things aren’t going to change.

Don’t worry about being nice. It’s your job to lay down the law and establish office standards that must be followed. If people are truly so unhappy and annoyed at office life, then it might be time to let them go. Always ask them, if they’d be happier working somewhere else. As always, be sure to document everything.

If things continue on a downward spiral from here, you may have to fire that employee. It’s unfortunate, but it’s best to rid your workplace of a toxic employee sooner than later. Good luck.

Sign up for our newsletter!