Silent Endorsement

What we ignore, we endorse.

Think about how many times you’ve seen behaviors that you find distressing (at home, at work or in public).  The child getting slapped by the angry parent, the bullying employee/supervisor that others fear, or the elderly person who needs help while everyone just looks in the other direction.

Yes. We all have these experiences. Our choice is simple.  Do I take a stand or do I endorse the behavior/situation by ignoring it?

In the workplace, if you are a supervisor you do not have a choice.  You’ve been paid and trusted not to endorse behaviors that are counter-productive to your culture, your norms, your expectations.

The problem is that we are used to looking the other way. It’s a quick fix easy solution that allows us to maintain our comfort. Yet for a company to do well (by it’s employees, consumers and the public), supervisors must never look away.  A leader must keep all behaviors in the spotlight, for it is in the spotlight that we shine. When it comes to negative behaviors, once the spotlight is removed, some people mistake that for endorsement.

3 things a leader can do to ensure they are not endorsing behaviors that are counter-productive to the culture:

  1. Positive reinforcement: recognize behaviors that your employee demonstrates that you do want to consistently see and experience.
  2. Discover their value: recognize the value each employee brings to your team. Then see #1. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  3. Address behaviors that do not meet expectations. It’s not about you. It’s not about your comfort. It’s about your obligation to your employees, your company and your consumers.

As a leader, what are some of the most difficult behaviors for you to address within your organization?  We promise, we won’t ignore you!

How to Handle Employee Complaints

One of the most common concerns we hear from managers is how to handle employee complaints. We prefer manhandling them, but our clients have HR departments that frown upon this practice.

What’s an effective way to handle employee complaints? I’ll let you in on a secret to stop the nagging, the babysitting, the micro managing, the stress, the plotting their demise in 2 easy steps. That’s really all it takes. Potentially a dash of Valium, but again, frowned upon.

2 Steps to Stop Employee Complaints:

  1. Validate their Concern (notice I called it “concern”, takes some of the sting away)
  2. Ask an Effective Question

That’s it! Simple. I’ll demonstrate.

Employee: “It’s taking the new guy forever to get up to speed. I’m sick of having to tell him how to do everything!”

Manager: “Shut it down you big baby!” Oh, wait…frowned upon.

  1. Validate: “It can be challenging to learn all of our processes, and frustrating teaching something that seems so easy to you.”
  2. Effective Question: “What one thing can you do to help alleviate some of this frustration while helping him get up to speed?” Alternative Effective Question: “You’re a pro at these processes. What helped you learn when you were new? How can you apply that approach when you’re teaching him?”

That’s an example of how to put the 2 Step Process to work. By validating the complaint, you are decreasing the defensiveness of the employee. By asking an effective question, you are empowering the employee to use their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

What are some common employee complaints you hear? Want some help? Leave a comment and we will put this 2 Step Process to work for you!