You havent been feeling your job for a while, but discussing your unhappiness with your boss can be difficult. But if you like your company and want to stay, this will be a necessary conversation. But before barging into your boss’s office, ponder your approach and what you want to say–and if you should say anything at all.
Realize what a complaint really is. A complaint is not always a way to get out of a task or push it. It’s also a way to make sure that your contributions are recognized. You don’t need to fight it out with your manager, but to let him/her know of the issues you’re facing or additional workload you’re serving will make sure it’s noted, points out Sumit Bansal, founder of Productivity Spot, an online platform that trains people in using common productivity tech tools.
When should you complain? You should feel comfortable raising concerns to your boss if you are not growing and developing or something is getting in the way of your success–the reality is is that this could also impact the company’s success. A happy team is a productive team and your boss likely wants everything running smoothly, says career coach Lori Scherwin.
What should you complain about? Don’t complain just because you feel tired or overworked. Whining isn’t an option. But if you can isolate the driver or root problem and suggest alternatives, you can still dig your way out with their help, advises Scherwin. For example, don’t simply say I’ve got too much to do and that sucks.’ Say we are working on four important projects at the same time. I want them all to go well–can you help me prioritize and or allocate additional resources?”
There is a way to complain. Be solutions oriented. Help them help you. Never come with problems only. The agenda should be problem and a suggested solution. You are much more likely to get help if you provide first thoughts on an optimal outcome, says Scherwin.
Realize when you should you not complain. There is a right time to bring up issues and complain about them. You should keep it at bay at critical times when the project is highly crucial and the stakes are really high. In such situations, it is needed for the entire team to come together and get things done. Once the pressure is partially/completely off, you can bring out your complaint box and discuss it with your manager/leader, says Bansal.
3 steps for getting your complaint heard without looking like a complainer
1. Be a team player, not a team snitch: Don’t blame anyone in the team. Instead, talk about how the issues are hampering your work-life and productivity, says Bansal.?
2. Be specific: Specify the problems and propose solutions. This way, you’ll be seen as a contributor and not a whiner. For example, if you’re working with new or less experienced resources that are leading to a lot of pressure, discuss how additional training can be imparted or experienced resources can be recruited, offers Bansal.?
3. Pace yourself: Don’t explode with all your problems at once. Rather, focus on the ones that really matter. You may have an issue ranging from project plan to the coffee machine. If you start complaining about everything, you’re unlikely to be taken seriously. Instead, focus on the ones that would really impact your satisfaction at your job, explains Bansal.?