Most of us in the workplace hear a lot of complaints from colleagues about their work. These are some of the types of complaints:
1. Customers are not easy to handle.
2. Manager allocates too much work; they cannot finish on time but have to do overtime. This situation may happen quite a few times a month.
3. Colleagues in the same team didn't contribute enough to finish the task, so someone will do less work, while others do more. Those who did more may think it unfair.
4. Someone did a great job to help the team / company achieve a huge success. However, the rewards didn't meet the expectation.
I have come across all the situations above and they can easily make people frustrated. However, when it happened, no matter how uncomfortable we fell, the issue is finding a way to fix these problems without being a whistleblower. Sitting in the staff room doing nothing but complain won't fix the problem, rather it's wasting your breath.
Facing up to it
In my view, facing the problems seems to be a way forward. Here are four suggestions.
1. In your mind, be sure you see no one as being difficult. If a customer is picky, there is a way forward to satisfy that person / group. Listen carefully what the customer needs and if it is too hard to fulfil, explain the reason carefully. Trying to consider the customer's point view, understanding what the customer really wants, is paramount. It may not be 'exactly' what you think. This is half way to success.
2. & 3. When someone is working under the pressure as there is too much to do, the chance of that person making mistakes is higher. In such a case, have a serious talk with the manager, to express our genuine concern (for the company as well as for the individual). It is critical the manager does not get the impression the work is not being achieved, rather an impression that we would like to do the job better.
In my work place, I am in a team of four people. For some time (7 months) one retired and one is on maternity leave. This means there are two of us left to do the work of four. If anything, this is the ideal work complaint for work load. However, I chose to work harder to help the team to overcome this difficult situation. I understand this won't be an ongoing situation, as new person will be hired and the person on leave will be back. In addition, manager recognised my capability to work with commitment. And of course, this will help me build career path smoothly.
4. The best assets a company has is its staff. When your work is recognised, management will consider rewarding you with remuneration increment. However, if the rewarding is not satisfied, do not be discouraged. It is part and parcel of one's development and another opportunity elsewhere may come up. Never close your options.
In my view, this is biblical approach. Learn how to cleverly discuss issues and turn complaints into positive outcomes. Sometimes it might mean something lesser in the short term, but life has a way of bringing rewards. We can think of Joseph as a classic example. Success in the long term is worthy of consideration.
Oscar Duan is from China, he has an accountancy degree from University of Hertfordshire (UH) International campus in Malaysia, and has undertaken further accountancy studies in Australia for accreditation here. He is married to Heyley.
Oscar Duan's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/oscar-duan.html