5 signs your employees are unhappy and how to fix it

Every good employer knows that creating a positive work environment should be a top priority. After all, if your employees feel happy and satisfied at work, they’re more likely to feel motivated and invested in your company.

Likewise, unhappy staff are bad news for bosses, potentially causing poor employee retention rates, reduced productivity and low morale. As such, it’s in your best interests to build a workplace your employees love.

If you want to achieve this, read on as we explain five sure-fire signs that your employees are unhappy and how you can fix it.

  1. There’s high levels of absenteeism

Everyone gets ill from time to time, but if your staff are taking frequent sick days, this could be a warning sign that they’re unhappy at work. Watch out for those who might be using excuses to avoid coming in – whether that’s a regular sore throat or a monthly bout of the ‘flu’.

What’s more, be conscious that stress can make you sick as it suppresses the immune system, making you more vulnerable to viruses. If your employees have a poor work-life balance or are feeling stressed, this may be causing absenteeism. Address this and your employees will be less likely to get ill.

Furthermore, if an employee regularly has appointments to attend, it may suggest they’re actually attending interviews elsewhere – a warning sign they’re looking for a new job. Therefore, it’s important you keep track of employee absence and are aware of those who seem to have excessive time off.

If you’re concerned, arrange a meeting with your employee and ask them if everything’s OK. Try to  find out if they need any support – if you can uncover the root of the problem, you’ll be able to make changes to improve this in the future.

  1. You’re receiving negative feedback

Unhappy employees may turn to company review sites to air their frustrations. If your employees take these matters online rather than speaking to you, this is concerning. It might be time to review your communication process to ensure staff feel comfortable approaching you with any problems they may be experiencing.

After all, bad online feedback can have a negative impact on your employer brand – which may deter future candidates from applying to your company. So if you have a poor online rating, you need to tackle these issues head on.

Try conducting employee satisfaction surveys as a starting point to help identify trends. For example, if staff are reporting similar frustrations, this is a sign that you need to make some changes.

Communicate with employees during this process to let them know that you care and want to improve the workplace to help them feel satisfied.

  1. They have a poor attitude

Do your employees often complain they’re tired? Do they look bored and barely participate in meetings? Or perhaps they spend the day clock watching and jump straight out of the door at 5pm?

If so, this might suggest that your workers are unhappy and as a result, only willing to do the bare minimum. This isn’t ideal for any employer – you want productive employees who are invested in your business!

These issues can be resolved by holding regular catch-ups with employees to discuss any concerns they have and find out why they’re feeling negatively towards work. Ask them how you can help and make sure you action this to show that you’re prepared to try and fix the problem.

  1. They don’t get on with colleagues

If you’re putting on after work events, company parties and lunches, but most of your team don’t show up, it could be a sign that there’s a problem. It may be that your employees don’t want to invest their time in making friends and getting to know their colleagues. This could be especially true if they don’t seem interested in talking to their co-workers at all.

Employees who are happy at work should be keen to spend time enjoying the company of their colleagues. After all, being sociable at work and making friends can help staff to feel more satisfied and supported – so it’s good to encourage positive working relationships.

  1. The quality of work is suffering

Perhaps your company as a whole isn’t hitting key targets, or maybe individual team members seem to be slacking. If so, your employees may no longer want to invest their time and effort in your company.

To fix this, make sure you invest in your employee’s development, to ensure that your company is also worth investing in. It’s the small steps that matter, so run training sessions where necessary, conduct regular reviews and create a work culture that’s uplifting and recognises staff for their achievements.

Ensuring your employees are happy

Creating a positive, happy environment in your company is important for so many reasons. Achieve this and you’ll find that your employees are more motivated and passionate about your business. Watch out for the tell-tale signs above and take steps to improve staff happiness right away.

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