Did You Ever Complain to Your Boss?

How to Bring Up a Complaint to Your Boss

Whenever you have an issue with your boss you must communicate directly to your employer to resolve the issue. Gossiping to your friends won’t help you deal with the issue directly.

According to Anne Merchant Geissler author of The Child Care Textbook, one of the most common obstacles to good communication is the inability or reluctance to deal with issues directly, honestly, and in a timely manner.

Ms. Merchant Geissler suggests setting an agenda before speaking to your boss. Determine the topic for discussion, ask the parents for a time to talk about the topic, and agree on how much time will be allotted with the understanding that there may be future meetings.

Ms. Merchant Geissler recommends the following when speaking to your employers about a problem:

Begin with something positive. Acknowledge the positive aspects or qualities of the situation or individuals involved before addressing frustrating or difficult issues.

Focus on positive results. Believe that everyone’s needs can be met in a satisfactory way. There are solutions that can work for everyone. The challenge is to honor everyone involved in the communication and to be open to all possibilities.

Be patient. Allow the parents to speak without interruption. Listen to what each person has to say with an open mind. Let go of judgmental thoughts. This allows each person to express their feelings freely and comfortably.

Be empathetic. Acknowledge each other’s feelings and concerns. Practicing empathy instead of opposition or intellectual feedback can bring remarkable results in creating nurturing, and mutually supportive relationships.

Talk honestly about your feelings and concerns. You have a right to express your feelings but do so without accusing others or making others feel they are wrong. Take a few moments so that you can state your feelings clearly and directly without being overly emotional.

Develop an inquiring attitude. Ask open ended questions — not statements hidden within questions. For example, “Why do you always so that?”

Use “I” statements. Avoid defensive reactions by coming from your own personal experience. Instead of beginning with accusations that begin with “you,” shift the tone by stating how you feel. For example, “When I heard what you did, I felt angry because I felt like my input was ignored.”

Paraphrase and use expanders. For example you might say, “You felt sad. Tell me more.” This conveys understanding, interest, and inquiry.

End on a positive note. Always end conversations with parents by thanking them for their time and effort for participating in the communication process.

Have you ever had to complain to your employer’s about your job?


  1. Nope, most of us just keep our mouths shut and then complain to our friends. LOL

  2. IMO lot easier said than done.

  3. I think the advice of starting out positively is great. I've heard before from a friend she did that before bringing up stuff. She said that she loved working for them and loves the kids and in no way wants to leave the job any then brought up issues in a constructive manner. When you feel emotionally upset might not be the best time to have the conversation. I read somewhere to avoid attacking them personally and stick to the issues at hand.

  4. I always do my best to bring complaints up to the family when I have a problem. I try my best to do all of these things. With one family I worked for they were just unreasonable. You can do all the right things, but if you don't work for a family that is willing to listen and communicate well back…it isn't a good situation. They were not willing to see what I was saying but instead were quick to put it all on me and say that each thing was due to me. About 6 months later when I gave my notice they complained and accussed me of not communicating and that it was coming out of the blue.All this to say…you can do your best to communicate (which these points are really helpful)but good communication takes 2 people for it to work. For anyone that has had similar situations "Don't lose heart!" There are great families out there that will communicate with you.:-) Sorry that was long.

  5. I think it is important to have regular "meetings" to discuss how things are going in general. This keeps the lines of communication open and makes it easier to keep things positive. Just be prepared for unexpected things getting brought up… like extra household duties that they are disappointed aren't getting done when they aren't in contract and you had no idea they were expected, etc… And maybe don't plan the meeting at a time when you may be extra emotional, if possible. Heh.

  6. I have brought up several problems to my bosses. You really need to, in order to be able to resolve them and by happy with your job.However, I always try to have a few options as solutions or let them know I am willing to work with them to find a solution that works for us all.Sometimes you have to "mold" the family into a good fit- as I am sure families have had to do the same with nannies- and it's the ones that are willing to be flexible that have long term, happy relationships.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: