Complaining at Work

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Management moved a friend’s coworker to another department. She didn’t hide her displeasure; rather, she broadcast it broadly.

The company canned her.

My friend could understand the reasons for her coworker’s dismissal, though she felt badly for her. She asked: What did I think?

Don’t do it.

Unhappy with something at work? Talk to someone with the authority to do something to address the issue. Don’t spread disgruntlement all over the workplace.

No one likes whiners and complainers. Coworkers don’t. And management likes them least of all. Company culture has proved essential to a company’s success—making it more critical than any single employee’s efforts. If you do something to harm the culture a company has worked hard to build, you should expect it to let you go.

And complaining, cultivating disgruntlement, and disparaging the organization’s decisions to coworkers harms company culture.

So employees shouldn’t express dissatisfaction? Of course they should.

In this case, the staffer simply said the wrong things to the wrong people. She should have approached her supervisor and explained why she preferred her previous department, why she could better serve the group in question, and how moving her back to her department of choice would better serve the company’s goals.

And if she’d talked to her boss and gotten nowhere?

Then she needs to come to terms with her supervisor’s reasons for the move and find the good in the new situation—or find a new job.

What do you think?