Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Criticism Feedback Complaints Recognition Thanks

We provide our employees with treats at the end of the week, and we use this as a form of recognition and appreciation, as well as an opportunity for the employees to mingle with each other. I was shocked the other day when a few employees said they donít like the treats and would prefer something different, something better. I told them Iíd keep their comments in mind. However, I am quite annoyed that they would complain about a gift. What do you make of this?

There is an epidemic of entitlement that that is spreading through many companies, and it appears that yours has not been spared. Unfortunately, there is no inoculation to prevent it.

It is easy for employers to become annoyed and insulted when employees display this type of behavior, and the temptation is to simply tell them that if they do not like the treats, there is an easy solution: stay in their work areas and keep working. Treats are not mandatory. However, it is best to let the temptation to say this pass by.

One of the best ways to handle these types of comments is to ask the employees for their suggestions for the next round of treats. Take a look at their ideas, and if they make sense and fall within the budget, give them a try. And if their ideas are not feasible, let the employees know why, and then ask for more suggestions.

In the meantime, take pleasure in having some employees who enjoy the treats and provide you with a two-word treat in return: thank you.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!