The Ten Major Complaints of Employees #1


Molly has been a senior manager of a large regional accounting firm for over 10 years. She started off as a junior accountant and quickly moved to higher positions. She now manages six people who work for her in the personal tax preparation services department of the firm. Molly was recently asked to not only manage that department, but to also take over the management of the corporate tax department. Being devoted to her firm, she agreed.

Life over the past few weeks has changed dramatically for her. Aside from tax season, she used to be able to begin her day at 9:00 am and leave for home by 5:30 pm. She was always successful in making sure that every client was served, and that all of the work on her desk and the desks of her staff was completed in a timely manner. All was good. However, now that she has taken on the additional responsibility, she feels overwhelmed, and she knows that in a few short weeks, she will need to be in the office for 12-15 hours each day from February to the end of April. She is ready for the challenge, but nevertheless, is starting to feel stressed.

Molly knows she has a stellar staff in both of her departments. That is not an issue. What is bothering her is that with the additional responsibility she agreed to take, the firm did not offer any additional compensation, and that is bothering her. Molly feels that the firm should pay her more. She has chosen not to say anything about it.

If you were to ask the owners of the firm, they would tell you that they truly appreciate Molly stepping up to manage the additional department, but they believe that they are paying Molly enough money, and that there is no need to pay her any more at this time.

Molly has spent considerable time at home discussing her conflict with her husband Jim. He feels that Molly is entitled to more money, and has encouraged her to talk to the owners or to the HR director of the firm. Molly is hesitant because she does not want to compromise the excellent relationship she has with the owners. Jim, on the other hand, sees how much his wife is troubled by what she expresses as unfairness, and he totally agrees with her.

This is perhaps the #1 complaint that employees have with their workplace. Sometime it is justified, and sometimes it really is not. After all, everyone wants to make more money. However, just because an employee has been with a company for a long time and just because an employee does a good day’s work every day, it doesn’t necessarily warrant a raise. On the other hand, when a good strong employee agrees to take on additional responsibility like managing an additional department, or becoming a trainer in addition to their original job, or getting involved in marketing the company in addition to functioning in their actual position, there is definitely a reason to expect more compensation. There are also employees who keep taking on more and more responsibility, sometimes willingly or sometimes unwillingly, and they don’t think they deserve any more money. While this may be a stoic gesture, objectively, it may be foolish. After all, many employers are content not to pay employees any more, if they can help it. However, a smart employer will recognize that it is good business to reward employees who are willing to take more responsibility before the employee asks for it. It shows the employee that the employer truly recognizes the value of that employee, and wants to keep that employee happy. As for the employee who deserves a raise, but never asks for more, too often, that employee harbors a silent resentment which eventually festers into frustration, low morale, and lower productivity. And so, for that employee, asking for the raise he or she rightly deserves is a smart idea.

The team at The Pennington HR Group has over a decade of proven experience in facilitating dialogues between managers and their employees. We work with managers to help them better understand how their employees are feeling, and how the manager can be more effective in showing appreciation to all of the employees and giving them the validation that is so important to each of them.


© 2019 by The Pennington HR Institute

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