Article: What should employees do if managers ignore their complaints?

Employee Relations

What should employees do if managers ignore their complaints?

Readabout the different kinds of complaints and how to deal with each one of them
What should employees do if managers ignore their complaints?

There is no straightforward response to this.  It depends on what is meant by “ignore” and what is meant by “complaint”.  First, let us look at ignoring.  For example, if you go to your boss and say, “The process that we are using to track employee attendance is outdated”, your boss mumbles something and does not do anything about it, this then becomes ignoring.  

Now, let us look at what a complaint means.  There are two kinds of complaints and each one requires a different tactic to be used, when you are being ignored.

Legal Complaints 

Saira, a person of Asian ethnicity, applies to work as a receptionist at a car dealership in a predominantly white area. She meets all of the job requirements, but following an interview the employer tells Saira “you wouldn’t fit in here”. A white person with similar skills and experience is hired instead.

The above is a classic example of racial discrimination.  If you complain to your boss that X is sexually harassing you, if Y is violating certain rules and regulations and if Z is being racially discriminating and your boss does not start an investigation, this issue definitely needs to be escalated.  You could either report this to your boss’s boss or to the HR Department.  Most companies have an Open-Door Policy, which means that any manager or executive in the hierarchy can be easily approached.  Make use of this policy well.  Some companies have an anonymous way of receiving legal violations and this route could also be employed.

Workload Complaints 

The case of McDonald v State of South Australia SASC 134 involved a culture of overwork that caused workplace injury, and amounted to a breach of contract. The complainant was a teacher who suffered stress caused by harassment and victimization superimposed upon an excessive workload and poor role definition. The court considered the obligation to provide a safe place of work and found that Mr. McDonald’s stress was due to an excessive workload, which included work for which he had never been trained.

Your manager might not know what you do all day and might be ignorant of your workload and deadlines.  If you are being overworked and overburdened, while your colleague watches videos on YouTube, you could ask for help.  If your manager still does not offer to help or ignores you, take the following steps.

  • Evaluate your work load and find out if you are truly being overworked.  Are you wasting time or goofing off as well?

  • Set your own priorities, find out which are the important tasks and do them first

  • If you do not want to live this kind of a life, start looking for another job, find one and then quit.

If you bring up a complaint, you could offer a solution that would look professional on your part and it would also give an impression that you have thought it out thoroughly.  Otherwise, it would look as if you are just whining.  Going to your boss for minor issues like rules, a colleague’s bad habits or a reasonable workload would really not be tolerated and he or she would definitely ignore you.

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Topics: Employee Relations, Life @ Work

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