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4 tips for dealing with whiny employees

Posted on April 28th, 2015 Read time: 2 minutes

Negativity can be pretty common in the workplace. According to a Gallup poll, only 31.5 percent of American employees were engaged in their jobs in 2014. Whiny employees do not just get on a manager's nerves; they also can put other workers in bad moods. Although it may seem easy to just ignore these types of workers, it's one of the worst things you can do. Here are four tips for dealing with whiny employees:

  1. Schedule a meeting
    Instead of addressing an employee's constant complaining in the hallway, schedule a meeting in your office. In a calm but firm voice, tell the staff member you have noticed that he has been complaining a lot lately and you want to help him resolve the issue. Allow him to voice his concerns and offer appropriate feedback. For instance, if your employee complains about a heavy workload, offer him tips on how to manage his time better.
  2. Be empathetic
    Employees want to be heard and tend to respond better when you are empathetic. Linda Byars Swindling, author of Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers, recommends empathizing with a staff member for a few minutes and then asking how she plans to solve the issue. For example, if a worker grumbles about favoritism in the office, you can say something like, "I understand how that would upset you. What do you think is the best way to handle that?"
  3. Don't tolerate chronic whining
    Alison Green of Inc.com recommends letting a staff member know that chronic whining will not be tolerated in the workplace. Once you address his concerns, let him know that constant complaining negatively affects other workers. If an employee understands how complaining can reduce productivity in the workplace, he may be less likely to whine about the same things all the time.
  4. Show appreciation
    If an employee feels appreciated for what she does at work, she may be less likely to complain. For example, if your staff member exceeded her sales goals for the month, tell her how proud you are of her. If she knows she is a valued team member, she may realize that things aren't so bad in the workplace.

If you follow these helpful tips, you can turn a whiny employee into a happy and productive team member.

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