It is never too hard to spot unhappy employees on the job. They begin to be less productive and less engaged with their jobs and their co-workers. Their performance may begin to falter. Conventional business wisdom indicates that it is much easier to retain a current employee than to hire and train a new one. It becomes the employer’s responsibility to determine what the problem is and take steps to fix it. Here are some things to make an unhappy employee more satisfied and the entire team engaged.

  1. Conduct “stay interviews.” It is common for companies to do exit interviews as individuals leave the organization. Sometimes this information comes too little, too late. Why not start taking to your current employees to get a temperature read on the company from time to time. Ask them what they like and what they don’t like about their job, their team, and the management. Make sure they understand that they can be honest and their job won’t hinge on the answers. Then use this information to make improvements.
  2. Workplace recognition. Unsatisfied employees often don’t feel they get respect or recognition for their hard work. Being good at your job is expected but some managers focus only on mistakes or problems. Unhappy employees are very aware of negative feedback to their performance but never feel as though they are receiving positive encouragement when they are doing well. Be sure to recognize your employees when they are doing well and even provide a reward system for successes.
  3. Open door policy. Employees do like to work for managers with whom they are comfortable. Make sure your team knows that they can come to you with any feedback and any concerns while they work for you. Once again, make sure they know that their candid communication won’t influence how they are treated on the job.
  4. Allow for flexibility. Many employees feel there is a significant lack of work/life balance. Working regular business hours day in and day out can become monotonous and frustrating if employees don’t feel as though their personal time is valued. Offer options for additional time off or flexible schedules. If your business is set up to allow it, offer work from home options at least once a week if not more.

Do you need some ideas to keep your workforce happy on the job? The professional staff of Harvard Resource Solutions is here to partner with you.  

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