Quiet workplace... then - all of a sudden, a loud voice; complaints, criticism, aggressiveness. Everyone's attention is drawn to an argument - and sometimes the spotlight is on the person being publicly executed.
I'm not sure how often this happens to others, but when it happens to me, I feel very uncomfortable.
Some of the employees I manage put me in the spotlight whenever there's some minor unconsequential issue; sometimes it's an issue we already knew about and have taken action to solve it before... But for some reason these employees are so attentive and analytical that they need to bring it up and show the world that they spot the issue.
Then, other managers (my superiors) come and ask me about the problem, others in the company are alarmed, and think it's a major issue and needs to be dealt with immediately - even though they are not aware of our other processes/workload, existing solutions or the actual severity of the problem.
In such situations, how can I tell these employees that they are just overreacting - and ideally don't need to advertise our issues across the entire company?
Can I tell people something like... "If you have an issue, send an internal e-mail about it and we will address it internally" without causing even more problems, or another overreaction?
This is one of the most stressful things I have to deal with at work - my team's image. And mine of course.
As I am new to supervising people, I usually remain calm and silent, or just plain ignore complainers... But something tells me I should do better, without causing warfare.
EDIT - answers to Michael:
Well, first of all, I have priorities set by my own superiors and that usually means that the issues my team is complaining about are not as important as they think (to the company / to our bosses). Secondly, in most cases I have already taken action to solve the issue, but the complaints and frustration in my team attract more attention and alarm from outside the team, with people questioning us, etc. and often aggravating the whole process. If I had to be vocal I'd just tell my team to keep silent and be patient - but obviously that would not be very professional.
So, I am frustrated with my team. I would like to be a better manager, but how can I do that if I have instructions from above and all my team must do is implement instead of complain?
EDIT 2 - my clarification to other answers/comments
I do listen first, and have weekly 1-on-1s, but what I am describing here are team members who complain about things we had already discussed previously, often over and over again. Let me give an example: I spot a mistake X and take note of it, planning to implement a correction in accordance with my superiors' priorities (schedule may vary). A few days later, Robert from my team notices it as well and tells me that we have to correct it. I thank him, say it was already flagged and that it will be corrected. For some reason, my superiors don't consider mistake X to be as important as working on opportunity Y, so the correction process gets postponed. I tell Robert it got postponed, and a few days later he checks again, and since he still sees the mistake, he makes a huge drama about it for the whole office room to hear. Sometimes Robert would verbally complain about the system, me, our superiors. That's when I feel powerless as I don't think repeating the same thing in public would produce any different result. To answer the_reluctant_tester and many others: I do not ignore my team by default, but only when they repeatedly complain about things I have already addressed before. I consider myself very proactive with my superiors in reporting to them all these issues... but my superiors have the final say on what matters and what doesn't, and I don't want to bother them the same way my team bothers me.
I do think my team members are generally well-intentioned, and frustrated that the rest of the company doesn't work according to their own timeline. I do feel like they have trouble aligning with the overall new senior management's goals and priorities - especially the "Robert"s. They are skilled and have high technical knowledge, and previously had full autonomy on various areas of their work. However, the company has changed a bit recently (process standardization) and they are supposed to follow the strategy from above. On several occasions, it turned out that the strategy from above led to a worse result than the strategy suggested by my team members. I believe this made them feel like they know better than senior management on everything. The "Robert"s have often also openly criticized senior management (my superiors). So I guess discipline is the issue.
Thanks for the suggestions and advice everyone. I must say I am very stressed by all of this and need to relax as well...