How Effective is Complaining?

I am sure most of us have experienced people complaining about others not doing their jobs correctly as a way to solve an issue at work and I wonder how effective this really is. I currently work at my dad’s high end electronics company and many people will send out office-wide emails pointing out mistakes people have made to encourage others to not do the same. For example, we have a tool sign in/out spreadsheet on Google Docs where installers, or anyone using tools is supposed to sign in or out the tool when they use it. This is to reduce loss of tools or to find out who is responsible for the loss of a tool. Recently, one of the employees in charge of tools has been sending out emails calling out those who have not been using the tool sign in/out sheet properly or have not been using it when they should have.  It is hard to tell if this has been effective since he has only started doing this recently, but people are still not using the tool spreadsheet as often as they need to be.


Although I cannot determine how effective this has been, recently my mom who also works at my dad’s company has started calling people who had not filled out their schedules at the end of the day and has been sending out emails based on how many people filled out their schedules like they were supposed to. After about a week of this thorough checking in on people, we finally had a day where everyone filled out their schedules. This did not take very long to see significant results. One possible reason that this worked better than the complaints about the tool spreadsheet was because it was done in a kinder way, rather than calling people out to everyone in the office. My mom kindly called people to ask them to fill out their schedule rather than being upset with them. Another possible reason this worked better was because it was more targeted at the people who were not doing what they were supposed to do. Rather than just sending out an email, they actually got a direct phone call which is much harder to ignore. Also, this could have been more effective because my mom is the boss’ wife so people are more motivated to listen to her because she has more leverage in the company. Although this was more effective, it was also more time consuming.


There are many ways to complain to try and get people to cooperate in the workplace, some may be affective and others not. Although some may be affective, they may have other affects as well such as others seeing the complainer in a negative light. However, sometimes it is justified because people need to understand that they cannot continue to slack off because it affects everyone else’s work.


Do you think sometimes complaining is necessary? If so, in what way? If not, why not?


Why do you think my mom’s method was affective?


What are some other methods to get people to do what they need to do?

Retail Job Management Issues

For about a year and a half, during the end of high school and the beginning of college, I worked at GameStop. During that time I had three different managers and many different assistant managers. After learning more about operations management, I can reflect on what my managers did well and did poorly. Some of the things that were managed poorly explain why I did not enjoy working there a lot of the time.

One of the main issues at GameStop was what tasks were seen as higher importance than others. As an associate, my job was to work the register and to organize and put away games on the shelves. I found that the other associates would waste their time chatting while I was always sure to work on organizing games when I was not at the register. Whenever I would work, the store started off as a mess and I would get it organized while I was there. The problem here was that no one was being told that they should stop standing around and actually put games away. My managers would always complain to me that the other employees would not organize well, but did nothing about it.

Although I was always on task, I ended up being told that I was not doing well because my sales numbers were not high enough. Some days I would get great numbers, but other days I would not, which showed that what customers buy is not completely dependent on me and how I sell the game, but much more the customers decision. I do understand that selling the games and memberships is of high importance, but I think my managers could have focused on more than just numbers when it comes to employee reviews.

These complaints bugged me and gave me less motivation to work hard, but what I really thought was a poor decision was how my manager decided to schedule me and the other employees at my level. It was clear that I was better at organizing the store and that the other associates were better at selling. Since my numbers were not great, my manager decided to put me on the schedule for busy nights so I could get better at selling, thus pushing the other employees to less busy days. While it is good to learn and get better at what we are not good at, I think it would have made much more sense to put me on the less busy nights so I could focus on getting the store organized and fixing and cleaning up what other employees had organized poorly. The result of the new schedule was that the store was a mess because I had no time to clean it and we did not get great numbers because I was not skilled at that.

Do you think it is more important to have employees improve on what they are not good at or is it better to delegate tasks according to skill level, in order to have higher productivity levels?