If you are a supervisor or manager and you have an employee (the complainor) come to you and complain about another employee, how do you handle this?
Do you seek out the view of the person who is complained about (the complainee) regarding this particular complaint?
Do you not seek out the complainee's view but rather just keep mum, keep score, store the complaints, and wait for evaluation time to let the complainee know about the complaint(s)?
If you do talk with the complainee, do you state clearly, specifically what the complaint is and help the worker figure out how to do better? (if the person's response doesn't dissuade you from thinking that the complainee is in the wrong or lacks knowledge or a certain skill) Or do you hide the identity of the complainor and the specific facts of the complaint that would allow the complainee to ID the situation and complainor and really address the exact complaint?
Do you form an opinion of a particular subordinate based on what someone else has to say about him or her? Do you take time to observe and interact with the subordinate yourself to see and hear for yourself how that person behaves?
Is your goal to coach your staff, help them work together, help them develop as professionals? Or is your goal to collect your check with the minimum amount of fuss?
That would mean that you apply a policy, such as tardiness or absenteeism, dress code, or some other policy, equally to all staff, regardless of whether or not they've had a problem in a particular area (like excessive tardiness, calling off a lot on their weekend to work).
Do you treat a worker who just about never calls off before or after their day off or on a holiday the same as a frequent violator? Do you consider that the reason someone isn't wearing the particular color of scrubs for your floor might be that he or she hasn't been able to afford to buy more than one set and has to buy maybe one set per paycheck or per month? If that's the reason, do you cut them some slack?
Do you violate their privacy by discussing them in front of people who have no business knowing their business? Do you respect your subordinates? Do you like them, care about them? Or are they just a means to an end, that end being your accomplishing your job of running the ship well enough to keep your own neck out of the noose?
Do you believe your staff when they call off sick? Or do you automatically believe that they are lying most of the time if not all of it?
Thanks for any help.
May 20, '12
by Kooky Korky
I really appreciate your taking the time to answer my many questions, Ashley. You sound like a good boss.
Suppose the employee could provide you with proof of a legitimate, emergency sort of problem that caused the holiday call-off? Like maybe a transportation true emergency, a seriously sick or injured child or other person for whom the employee is responsible, or the worker being truly ill/injured, or some serious emergency with the worker's house, like a flooded basement due to sewage back-up, furnace failing in weather below 40 degrees, things of this nature? Would the person still not be able to use PTO? This is assuming the worker has never done this before or something like this happened 5 or so years ago.
I don't quite get wanting to protect the identity of the complainer in some cases. Do you think the anonymity of the complainer should take priority over the right of the accused to face his or her accuser?
To me, the best way would be to sit the parties down with the supervisor and hash out the complaint. I guess sparks might fly.
Last edit by Kooky Korky on May 20, '12