Love your business and feel a sense of achievement after a busy day at the office? What about your employees? Do they feel the same way?
Unfortunately dealing with disgruntled employees is something most employers will have to experience at some point, so being able to spot negative behaviour early on will help in preventing further loss in productivity.
What can cause employee unhappiness?
There are a number of reasons for a discontented worker and these can include:
Feeling ignored – Allowing employees voices to be heard at team meetings, in one-to-ones or via surveys can help prevent feelings of resentment due to not being listened to.
Just another number – Knowing why an employee is there and what their aspirations are will benefit you and your business because the employee will feel as if they are contributing and are a valid member of the team.
Lack of training – Not receiving any formal training is just going to make employees feel as though they aren’t worth investing in. Make sure you invest in a training programme with on-going support in order to help your employee feel confident in their role.
Mentoring – Having a good mentor – mentee relationship can be extremely beneficial for your employee because they will have the confidence to excel with regular feedback and guidance.
Wages – Money, or lack of, can be a sticking point for most people. Are the wages fair? Or should a particular job role warrant a higher rate of pay for the work required? Having a clear wage structure in place with the opportunity for pay-increasing promotions is a sure way of keeping staff interested and engaged at work.
What are the signs of an unhappy employee?
There can be a number of reasons for workforce dissatisfaction (as outlined above), but do you know what the signs are before staff leave unexpectedly and it’s too late?
Here are a few things to look out for in your staff:
Fall in productivity – If you start to notice a sudden or even a gradual drop in the quality of an employees work then it will be in your interests to address the issues causing it and to provide a solution as soon as possible, otherwise it may start to affect surrounding employees and the overall office morale.
Change in attitude – If a positive employee begins to adopt a more negative attitude towards you then it could be an indication of feeling displeased with management and work in general. Speak to the employee about their change in behaviour as negativity in the workplace can spread.
Drop in attendance – An increase in sick days is a warning sign that something is not quite right because generally, happy employees are happy to be in work. Speak to your employee once frequent absenteeism is noticed to find out what the underlying cause is.
If you do find yourself with an unhappy employee then communication is key. You need to give them a chance to voice their thoughts and concerns to you so you can determine what needs to change moving forward, but also advise them of any unrealistic requests. i.e. wanting a promotion when they have not yet acquired the necessary experience.
However, if you find yourself being the reason for an employee’s unhappiness at work then take it on board and remember that everyone can make mistakes.
There will be times when despite being supportive and accommodating to an employees needs, you cannot change their feelings of unhappiness in the workplace because there could be external reasons for their behaviour such as personal issues or strained relationships with colleagues.
Remember, employees need a leader who inspires, motivates and offers them opportunities for development, no matter how long or short the contract may be.