State the problem clearly
Complaints are sometimes insidious, concealed, creating a tense
climate that is difficult to grasp, and hence difficult for the manager
to intervene in. This is why, after having surveyed the
state of affairs ("What am I hearing? From whom? How is it said?
What does it provoke? ..."), we must formulate clearly what we observe
and what the consequences are. A formal meeting allows
the creation of a serious tone which marks the expectation that
things will change.
The manager is also a person! Like his co-workers, he needs to
have a favorable work climate and he has the right to ask for it.
Expressing his feelings, with delicacy but clarity, without
accusing or blaming, legitimates the demand which will follow.
Define a new mode of expression
The idea is not to silence the team but rather to ask for a
selection of the complaints it formulates and to imagine a new way to
communicate them. The point? That what is said is also heard,
and creates a constructive dynamic of resolving problems.
Multiple solutions are possible (a space or time to vent, a post-it
board for "Likes" and "Dislikes", a gripe box...), which wind up
creating a sense of shared involvement within the team!