4 Types of Employee Complaints — and How to Respond

Complaining can have both positive and negative effects on organizational communication. Constructive complaining — or structured opportunities for employees to voice their concerns — offers valuable feedback to improve work processes, products, and services, and thus should be encouraged. Venting and chronic complaining have both advantages and disadvantages for the individual and the group and should be given the right space and time, rather than being stifled. Malicious complaining only creates personal gain that harms others and the collective, decreases productivity, and creates a toxic work environment. By managing these different types of complaints with the appropriate behaviors, managers can create a positive, high-performing work environment while monitoring and containing the risks and costs of complaining for themselves and their teams.

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