There is a timelessness regarding employee complaints about their workplace. Look back at any complaint list and they haven’t changed much over the years.
Here are the overview categories:
Underpaid. Survey employees and very few will say they are overpaid. The opposite is almost always one of prime complaints of employees. In many instances, the complaints have validity, although there appears to be a base level of dissatisfaction built into every workplace.
Lack of communication. Many times, employees feel the job they are doing is undefined and unappreciated. Often, a simple lack of communication from the supervisor is the main problem. "Poor communication is a big problem in the workplace," said Tonya Slawinski, a Ph.D and president of Supportive Solutions, Inc., a crisis response service for businesses. "Communication is an ongoing process rather than a static event. Employees generally have a high tolerance for change if kept in the loop. When communication breaks down, rumors run rampant and will directly impact productivity, focus and ultimately the finances of the company."*
Micromanagement. Those who crave for more communication from their boss fit into one category. There is another category of employee who sees and hears too much from the boss. They suffer from the perception of micromanagement. The input is often appreciated, but too much of it creates an atmosphere where the employee feels demeaned and stifled. Prudent managers know the right length of leash to give employees to produce the highest rate of efficiency and harmony in the office.
Even though some of the complaints are undeserved and not fully rooted in reality, these are the trouble areas that supervisors should keep in mind when trying to improve their own management skills.
Inc. Magazine columnist Jeff Haden makes this very point in a recent commentary titled, "8 Most Common Complaints About the Boss." He says the burden of improving boss-employee relationships falls squarely on bosses.
So what can you do? Take a look at the list. Take a hard look at the list. How many items apply to you - even if not consistently but only occasionally?
Then get to work. If you believe your employees are your most important assets-and you should-start treating them with the consideration and respect they deserve.
That's good advice for any supervisor who seeks to unlock his company's full potential.