Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Employees Who Never Complain

There are employees who never complain.

They show up on time and follow the rules.

They don't get special privileges; those goodies go to their louder co-workers.

If they can't do something, they'll tell you, but they never whine. They are very nice people.

How are they rewarded?

They get more than their fair share of work. ["Did you finish that? Here's some more."]

They also get less than their share of recognition. ["She doesn't seem to need it as much as the others."]

Their skills and demeanor are routinely taken for granted.

That is one of the greatest sins in the workplace.


Anonymous said...

Isn't he the same person that you wrote about in your post on the martyr? (That was a good one too!) How about some advice for the employee? How does one deal with a manager who wants and deserves low-maintenance people and unintentionally skews rewards to the high-maintenance ones? There has to be a better way than keeping up with workplace Joneses than by planning some judicious whining and pitching a regularly scheduled career-advancement fit.

Michael Wade said...

Good question!

Managers often inadvertently reward negative behavior and punish good behavior. It is possible to complain without whining and to confront the manager with, "This is how I see the situation. Am I missing something?"

That lets the manager know that the disparity is not unnoticed.
If the manager is too intimidated by the complainers to do justice, then it is better to clarify that point than to continue to wait for an improvement. Some workplaces and managers are so dysfunctional that the best advice is to flee. That's why you can find teams or divisions that are known for driving off good people.