How To Complain About A Coworker To Your Boss – 8 Steps

Written By Shahzaib Arshad

Has your coworker been annoying you? Why don’t you learn our tips on how to complain about a coworker to your boss?

This complete guide will make things very easy for you. You would be able to tell your boss about your coworker’s wrongdoings in the best way.

How To Complain About A Coworker To Your Boss – 8 Steps

The first thing to do is identify your coworker’s behavior and approach your boss. We will go step by step below:

1. Identify Why Do You Want To Complain About Your Coworker:

It is the best step before you complain about a coworker to your boss. The reason why you choose to complain must be sensible and, of course, helpful to you and the company.

coworker's behavior

Ensure that it is necessary to complain about your coworker before doing anything. Create a list of your coworker’s things and why you don’t like them.

Moreover, ensure the complaint is due to a big issue he created. Answer some questions for yourself to be sure:

– Why are you complaining about the coworker to your boss

– What is it they are doing that bothers you

– How has it impacted your work and productivity at the company

– Why do you think it is an issue for the company.

Once you are sure, only then go to the next step: how to approach the boss.

2. Approach Boss At The Right Time:

Timing is the most crucial factor here. Make sure that your boss is not busy and available to hear your concerns. Take an appointment with his PA and talk to him at the right time.

Once he is free for you, you will share the details and not seem to complain only. It would help the boss understand that this situation concerns you genuinely.

And you don’t want to tarnish your coworker’s reputation but like the company to be better.

3. How To Complain About A Coworker To Your Boss – Be Clear And Stay Calm:

There are high chances that your boss will not want to hear you out if you raise your voice or are angry. Be calm and clear about what you have to say.

Only then can he resolve the matter. Share everything that your coworker does in a detailed manner. Moreover, explain why your coworker’s behavior affects the company and you.

Relax before talking to the boss, or you might worsen the situation. It is already a severe discussion because you are complaining about a colleague.

Do not worsen it with gibberish stuff. You want your boss to believe you; if you get angry or nervous, he won’t accept your remarks.

How To Complain About A Coworker To Your Boss

He will take you as a jerk only who is complaining about a colleague to make up his mark.

4. Give Examples Of Your Coworker’s Behaviour:

Do not only give statements that your colleague did something terrible. You have to provide good examples of where he went wrong.

Otherwise, your complaint will seem invalid and empty. Share the exact incidents that happened. For instance, if your coworker is a liar, you can say:

“When you asked [coworker’s name] about the files, he said he didn’t have them. However, he had the files; he lied to you. I saw him keeping those files in his drawer.”

Another example can be when your coworker arrives late to work and leaves before you do. Now you can say:

“[Coworker’s name] times in 1 hour late and leaves 30 minutes early. Most of my work is with him as a team; it hampers my schedule and work when he is not present.”

There can be many other examples like these. Similarly, there can be many situations where your coworker is wrong and needs to get them right. Please share them with your boss with examples.

5. How To Complain About A Coworker To Your Boss – Give Proof:

Your complaint is nothing without evidence and proof. Gather as much evidence as you can against your coworker, and only then go to your boss.

Moreover, do not temper the proof; let it be genuine and authentic. For instance:

– Your coworker’s text messages

– CCTV footages

– Others are verifying your statements

– Your coworker’s recordings.

If your coworker is harassing you, it is time to record him and share his messages publicly. If you do so, he might step back, and your boss will immediately notice.

6. Provide Solutions To The Problems Your Coworker Created:

When telling your boss what your colleague did, propose solutions too. If your coworker is slacking, suggest ways to improve employees’ productivity.

employee productivity

Likewise, if your coworker is harassing others, submit HR’s involvement and his termination.

Similarly, if your coworker is taking credit for your work, ask your boss to confront him. In short, whatever your coworker does wrong, offer solutions to fix the problem.

7. How To Complain About A Coworker To Your Boss Ask For Action:

When you have submitted the complaint, ask your boss against the employee. How will you know that your boss understood what you said?

He asks the same question back with a statement: “It is not enough” or “I know.” It would help if you explicitly asked for action against your coworker.

Let your boss know that he affects the company and its reputation. If possible, ask for termination as he harassed others. Such crimes poorly reflect on the company’s name.

8. How To Complain About A Coworker To Your Boss – Be Patient:

Even if nothing happens after the complaint, stay patient and not lose hope. Continue working hard because your want to prove yourself as an efficient employee.

And you can be efficient without gossiping about other coworkers.

When To Complaint About A Coworker To Your Boss:

Here are a few examples of situations that need your immediate attention:

1. When Your Coworker Is Harassing You:

Some people make you dread coming to work. And they might be doing the same with others too.

If it is becoming excruciating at work, speak out against them. If your colleague is bullying or harassing you, it is time to go to the boss.

2. When Your Coworker Doesn’t Contribute To The Company:

Some employees never contribute to the company and take credit for others’ work. Such employees are the worst.

bad employees

Tell your boss about them because they snatch your right to take appreciation. Moreover, they feast on others’ hard work and should get punished for it.

3. When Your Coworker’s Actions Affect The Company Badly:

Some actions are detrimental to the organization’s overall progress. Employees who perform such activities do not deserve to be with the company.

Hence, Human Resources and bosses should take action against them to save the company. For example:

– Your coworker is a spy for another competitor agency

– He tries to sabotage others

– He steals from the company’s accounts

– Your coworker mishandles the clients

– He tarnishes other employees’ reputations, etc.

Things To Remember And Avoid While Complaining About Your Coworker

Here are some things to avoid at all while you complain about another employee:

1. Do Not Lie About The Coworker:

Most people who complain about their coworkers do so to create a reputation for being tough. They think that they will become problem solvers who drive to get things done by complaining.

This perception of them is, in many instances, accurate. But there is another way to achieve this goal with the same result without complaining.

The other way is by just working hard and doing your job well. Therefore, do not lie about your coworker only to create a good reputation fr yourself.

2. Try Not To Complain About Your Coworker At All:

Are you sure your boss will side with you when you complain about a coworker? Well, they might, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.

Complaining to your boss about coworkers usually leads to one of two results:

1. The coworker is gone

2. Or you are.

do not complaint about a coworker to your boss

The moral of the story is simple: don’t complain about coworkers. It may seem like a harmless way to vent at first, but in the end, your reputation is on the line.

Keep complaints about coworkers out of the workplace and save yourself some trouble. So there it is, folks, a guide on how to complain about a coworker without making things worse.

But if their crime is big, you should involve the boss. But if they are doing nothing intense, you can let it go and save your energy.


To complain about a coworker, first, identify his behaviors. Find why their behaviors are harmful to the company.

Moreover, gather evidence against the coworker. It can be any piece of Proof that can validate your statements. Then approach the boss at the right time.

Share examples of your coworker’s behavior along with evidence. Likewise, share solutions to the problems your coworker created.

If their actions are gruesome, you can ask for their termination right away.

Now that you know how to complain about a coworker use this information and rid yourself of such people. Go to your boss about the people who affect your career growth.

People like these get what they deserve in the end anyway, so don’t worry too much about them. Instead, use this knowledge to improve yourself on an individual level. Good Luck!

Last Updated on 2 months by Shahzaib Arshad

Shahzaib Arshad
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