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How Do We Handle Anonymous Complaints?

Question

How do you handle anonymous complaints made against specific Management Team members? In our case, these take the form of anonymous letters to the administration. The charges are incorrect and cannot be validated.

Answer

Unless the complaints involve ethical issues that need to be addressed, I would ignore them. In my two-day sessions, I teach leaders how to address situations like this, and also discuss why people come in with statements such as, “I can’t tell you who said this but …” Incidents like this are another reason why I feel employee surveys are so important. They give all staff members the opportunity to weigh in. I don’t have respect for people who can’t sign their name, and paying attention to such anonymous things (like the aforementioned letters) only reinforces secrets and child-like behavior.