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How To Complain To Your Boss


Not everything is always rosy in the workplace. There are times you experience unpleasant actions from your employer or your boss. It could be that you’re bypassed for a promotion, asked to work overtime without added pay, or simply reprimanded openly for something you’re not responsible for. The consequences of these actions could build resentment in your heart that you’re dying to air your grievance.

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If you’re a unionised worker, it could be easy because you could employ the actions of your union against your employer, but in a situation where you’re simply a worker belonging to a union, airing your grievance to your boss is replete with risk. This goes on to remind us that there’s an art to complaining so that you get heard, without loss of job or punishment.

In this article, I explore 6 ways on how to complain to your boss in a professional manner.

  1. Truly Define The Matter

Most often, several issues arise at work and not all are worth protesting about. So avoid protesting every matter, especially matters that do not threaten your life or salary. For example, there could be times you might be asked to stay beyond closing hours to work, which is something that does not come up occasionally, maybe due to emergency reasons, you can readily overlook such rather than moan about it.

  1. Define Your Grievance

Why exactly are you pissed off? Let’s take, for example, you were bypassed for promotion despite your efforts, the question should be why are you angry? Are you angry because your efforts went unrecognised, or you lost a chance at earning more money, or you lost a chance at gaining more prestige? What truly matters to you should be the reason why you’re angry and you seek redress.

  1. Use The Power Of Numbers

There could be every possibility that you aren’t the only one who’s grieved by your boss. Intelligently know the opinion of other employees concerning an issue that grieves you, see if they share your views so you seem to look like a rebel or end up as a scapegoat. When you’re sure you’ve got the needed response from a larger number of people, you can collectively seek redress intelligently and professionally.

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  1. Look To Previous Situations

There are precedents you can look at in order to get your facts right. Has anyone successfully campaigned against a similar issue in the past and it’s addressed successfully. This can give you a point for argument when presenting your case to your boss.

  1. Know The Company Rules

Rather than running off to protest against your employer or rally around seeking the opinion of others, it’s good that you get to know the rules of engagements on how conflicts are addressed and resolved. Know if there are procedures to follow. However, if your case is that of sexual harassment, financial and labour exploitation, and there seems to be reluctance by your employer in addressing such critical issues, it’s advisable to seek redress outside the company by employing the services of legal counsel.

  1. Pick A Good Time To Seek Redress

When you’ve been grieved by your boss, you don’t blast off like a volcano to seek redress. Pick a good time to redress your grievance. You can book an appointment when it’s most convenient for you and your boss.

  1. Be Ready To Compromise And Negotiate

When your boss has taken an action you find unpleasant, it’s necessary to know the reasons behind such actions. Be ready to see sense in his reasons if there are any. When you are not satisfied, negotiate, so that both you and your boss can become winners at the end of the day.

Featured Image Source: Quartz

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Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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