It would be ideal for every employee to be happy at work, but the truth is, that just isn’t the case. Employee unhappiness can stem from a variety of reasons. These reasons often include being underpaid, under-appreciated, lack of interest, poor management, lack of life/work balance, and limited chance of growth. These reasons vary depending on both the workplace and individual, and there are effective ways to handle them.
When it comes to employee unhappiness, there isn’t always one person to blame. Sometimes it’s as simple as the job not being the proper fit for the employee. Whatever the case, employee unhappiness should be resolved, not only for the employee’s sake, but for the sake of the business and its future. When the people who are supposed to be nurturing the business are unhappy, they’re unmotivated to do so.
Here are some of the ways this situation can be handled:
- Acknowledge the situation. A negative attitude in the workplace will only get worse if it’s ignored, and possibly negatively impact others in the office. Acknowledging there’s a problem is a beneficial first step to almost every problem. The best scenario is to do so as soon as it’s noticed. Whether it’s the employee who brings it up on their own, or the manager makes it a point to bring it to light, it’s important that there’s an open line of communication between the employee and the manager.
- Break it down. Get to the core of the issue. It could be one of the reasons listed above, or it could be something different, but it’s important the exact issue is addressed. It’s the only way it can be solved, and in all cases, the solve varies. Sometimes the issue could end up being completely unrelated to work itself. Each issue needs a different approach.
- Showing care. A manager showing they care is huge. It’s crucial for them to take the time to have a conversation, talk about different solution options, carry it through, and remain calm during the whole process. Both the employee and manager have a duty to keep it professional.
- Patience is key. It’s an unrealistic expectation to think the issue will be automatically fixed. Whatever solutions were chosen, they may need to be tested. In some cases, the solution found is not the right one. This doesn’t mean failure, it means trying again, especially if the manager truly values this employee and wants to see them shine again. After trying and trying, sometimes it turns out that it’s best for the employee to part ways. It doesn’t sound like a positive solution, and it’s usually a realization the employee has to come to on their own.
- Document it. These type of interactions should be documented, whether the employee acts out or not. For future references, it’s important to note what was discussed, including solutions and consequences.
Every situation is different because every individual and workplace is different, but following this guideline for handling employee unhappiness can help to solve the issue before it’s too late. Going into the situation blind, heated and unprofessionally is not recommended for either side, employee or manager.
Author Bio: Jad Kiswani is the CEO of Recognition Source, a company that provides high quality crystal, glass and marble corporate awards and gifts. Recognition Source realizes the importance of awarding excellence and those making inspiring differences.