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Bizarre Behaviors Complaints Suggestions

Our district manager invited me and the group of employees that I manage to meet with her to discuss their concerns, complaints, and suggestions. At our district manager's insistence, my employees were very open and expressed some important matters. The district manager called me on the next day and said she is very disappointed in my employees and thinks they are a bunch of complainers. Does this sound as ridiculous to you as it does to me?

If your manager goes to a restaurant and orders a grilled cheese sandwich, does she become upset when the waiter arrives with a grilled cheese sandwich instead of steak? Your employees delivered exactly what she requested. If she only wanted to hear happy talk, that is what she should have ordered.

Of course, the larger question is what to do now. After all, when management solicits the employees' opinions about their work and then does nothing with the issues that they raise, all that will happen is that the employees' attitudes will become even more negative.

Rather than dwelling on the complaints and concerns that were voiced by your staff, one approach is to call your manager back and tell her that you are going to meet with your team to further analyze their concerns, prioritize them, and put together some basic strategies to resolve them. Then ask her if she would like to attend any of these problem-solving sessions or simply get involved further down the road. If you and your team can develop some effective strategies to handle their key concerns, your manager may get that steak in spite of herself.

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