A chronic complainer can affect everyone’s productivity and morale – not just his or her own. Whether you are a supervisor or a co-worker, here are some ideas to help keep things running smoothly.
Listen. Sometimes all a complainer needs is a chance to talk to someone. He/she may not be looking for answers, but simply suffering from lack of attention — at work and at home.
Don’t argue. But this doesn’t mean you have to agree. You can state your position calmly without attacking the complainer’s case. Arguing can fuel the fire.
Resist the temptation to join in or commiserate. That kind of attention will only encourage more complaining.
Keep exchanges short. Some complainers will consistently spend more time talking than working. Point out that wasting valuable time and energy won’t bring about change.
Taking the ho-hum out of safety training
Many workers find safety sessions boring. They’ll might even wear sunglasses to these events so they can catch a quick unobserved nap or roll their eyes at the speaker.
If you want to put a little sparkle into your meetings, you’ll have to invest some planning time. If simply reading information verbatim to them bores you, your workers aren’t exactly going to be hanging on your every word.
Try these four ideas to put some punch into your safety meetings:
Ask a trusted worker or two for an honest impression of the meeting and have them suggest improvements. One effective method is to have them fill out a short questionnaire before they leave the meeting.
Talk to one employee at a time, relating your safety message directly to his or her job.
Relate a story or two about an injury or fatality, or set up a mock accident scenario, showing what can go wrong, but make sure your examples are relevant to the jobs workers are performing.
Try to use your own words as much as possible in explaining things so employees will be assured you know what you’re talking about.