Ruby Newell-Legner - 7 Star Service
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What to Do When Employees Complain

unhappy employee, complainingI hate complainers. I have zero tolerance for people who choose to look at the negative side of situations.

Some people are never happy. It’s almost like their mind is trained to look for things to complain about. That’s why our perspective is the most important choice we make every day. Overcoming obstacles and challenges is easier when you choose to accentuate the positive.

My pet name for complainers is “waaah-mbulance drivers.” In an office environment, these employees make the workplace toxic, spreading unhappiness and low morale. In a recent training session, I described my feelings about waaah-mbulance drivers and asked participants to raise their hands if they had ever worked with one. Almost everybody’s arm shot up into the air. “Don’t point at them,” I warned. “They know who they are!”

Later, I asked the same group to share what they learned during our day together. One participant boldly stood up and announced. “I’m going to stop being a waaah-mbulance driver.” The audience applauded, and I congratulated her on her confession. I also encouraged her coworkers to positively reinforce her progress on her new goal.

That’s how you begin to solve the complaining problem — by helping colleagues recognize the damage caused by their disposition and the disservice they’re doing to their coworkers. The next time those people complain, politely ask them to listen to themselves. (You can even use the term “waaah-mbulance driver,” if it helps.) Failure to intervene will only allow negative vibes to fester.

Once waaah-mbulance drivers recognize their attitude, they often start to shape up — especially if they know it’s damaging their reputation at work.

(Photo by iStock) 

About Ruby Newell-Legner

As a Fan Experience Expert, Ruby helps leaders in sports, leisure and entertainment build strong teams between front line staff and management, and make exceptional customer service a way of life. She has consulted with and designed customized training programs for more than 60 sports and entertainment venues, 80 leisure facilities and 29 professional sports teams. From the only 7 Star Hotel in the world to Convention Centers, from Denver to Dubai, Ruby brings unprecedented expertise and insight on how to create a service culture that motivates employees and promotes customer loyalty and retention.

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