How to Deal with an Unhappy EmployeeAddressing employee concerns and dissatisfaction

Harvard Business School recently concluded that having just one unhappy person working for you could affect your whole organisation.

With this inevitably taking its toll on productivity, effectiveness, and company ethos, taking steps to manage disgruntled employees is vital.

There are many ways to keep your employees on track and discuss any queries they have.

It is much better to deal with the issue before it becomes something much worse rather than losing a valuable part of your team.

Luckily for you, we’ve come up with a few ideas on how to deal with an unhappy employee.

Talk to them

As a manager, talk to your employees and address their concerns to avoid having an employee with irreconcilable differences with the organisation.

Although this is not always possible, creating an open-door culture and a safe space for open discourse encourages people to express their opinions.

Doing so will often lead to positive changes in the workplace and keep people happier.

58% of employees do not trust their boss, which shows that there is often a lack of communication within the workplace, this can affect how engaged people are in their jobs.

Addressing the issue as soon as someone presents it to you is incredibly beneficial as it gives you time to try to produce a solution.

Take accountability

This may not always feel like the right thing to do but taking accountability for what is causing any issues is one of the best ways to deal with an unhappy employee.

Taking accountability for anything that is causing problems within your organisation can limit stress levels, therefore reducing the chances of long-term mental health issues.

Taking accountability can also encourage employees to do the same and therefore improve their experience at work.

Simply thinking, “How can I help this person feel happier working for me?” or “What am I doing which is causing them to feel unhappy?” helps a lot more than you may think.

All it takes is a change of mindset.

Remember the boundaries of your role

You are a manager; it is part of your role to consider and support the welfare of your team. It is not your job to check that they are happy 24/7.

Sometimes it becomes clear the issue is dissonance between the employee expectations and the role itself—the role may no longer be right for them.

Accepting that you cannot please everyone is a very practical skill to have.

A major part of being a leader is making decisions that are best for your business. Realising that each unhappy employee you have limits your effectiveness in other areas can help with decision-making.

There are often more benefits to supporting an employee into a more suitable role in the organisation or offering them skills development to move out of their current role.

Stay professional

Not only does staying professional make your employee feel better about working with you to solve any issues, but it also makes you feel better.

Having an unhappy employee is not a personal attack and remembering that is essential.

Being clear on organisational values as well as professional boundaries and practices will ensure your actions are supported and the employee feels valued despite any issues that need addressing.

Engage with other employees

Addressing the wider organisation is important to ensure that this employee is in the minority. Having a few disgruntled employees can destroy your company.

Regularly checking up on other people often can help you decide your plan of action on how to ensure you work in a culture of positivity, productivity, and success.

Having a disengaged worker can be a push factor for clients, limit the amount of work being done, and make other members of staff unhappy. Paying attention to staff morale and wellbeing goes a long way to reduce these impacts.

Although 85% of employees are not engaged in the workplace, there is no single best way to deal with a disengaged or unhappy employee. There are however different techniques and protocols you can take to try to solve the issue at hand.

Regularly having conversations about you and your employees’ expectations can help to completely avoid any prolonging negativity.

It promotes having a healthy relationship with work, knowing what needs to be changed within an organisation, and learning from mistakes.

Seek solutions that suit individuals and your business

We all have moments of being unhappy at work and there are always solutions to help individuals find the best solution for themselves and the organisation.

Investing in employee wellbeing is an effective preventative but where unhappy employees are affecting business, effective management, support, and open communication are key to tackling issues.

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