Bob Rosner has a unique perspective on managing employees in his latest Working Wounded post – Stop Workplace Whining.  The setup:

A study by In Touch asked employees, “Why don’t you speak up at work?” More than 1 in 4 said they remain quiet because “there isn’t a good way to speak up” or “management doesn’t care.” I’ve outlined below three dos to reduce pressure at work and have everyone engaged in the problem-solving process. For more, check out Rant, Repair, Rave on workplace911.com.

I’ll leave the whale example at the beginning of his post for you to read on your own (it is funny and disgusting all at once).

Here is the suggestion I thought had some merit:

Rant. We know what you’re thinking, “Let my people rant at work. Are you nuts?” Trust us, they already are ranting! Why not move it past murmuring whispers and give them a safe way to voice their concerns and challenges? After years of counseling people in the Rant technique, we find it works best when rants are kept under two minutes. Another important guideline here is “do no harm.” Employees should be truthful in their rants, but not hurtful.

“They already are ranting!” is true, isn’t it?  It would take a particularly strong manager to be able to handle a meeting that allows rants.  I like the idea.  I have sat through meetings where individuals (myself included) went on a spontaneous rant.  After the meeting, I was called into the boss’ office and told if I ever did that again I would lose my job.

I ceased all rants (in front of that manager) from that point on.  But my rants continued with fellow employees.

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