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Dealing with Disgruntled Employees

By Heather Brown
December 01, 2014

As a manger or a leader, you probably have encountered an employee or team member who dreads getting out of bed in the morning and coming to work. Although many employees like to do a good job at work and feel that sense of accomplishment, it is inevitable to encounter at least one employee in your career who is unhappy. These employees could be unhappy for various reasons (personal, school, work) and it is your job as a manager or leader to figure out why and help motivate them at work.

The following are some tips to help motivate employees:

1. Have One-on-Ones How often do your employees get the opportunity to discuss non-work related issues with you? Or is the only time you spend with them reviewing project statuses and budget problems? In order to better understand your team members and employees give them the opportunity to speak with you on a regular one-on-one basis. This lets you get to know your employees on a better level and could give you the chance to see issues before they become too big. It also allows employees to feel confident in knowing they can come to you with their concerns which could help prevent future problems in the workplace.

2. Be a Coach Sometimes, employees aren’t sure what is expected of them at work or what their goals should be. You should help them get a better understanding of what is expected, what the priorities should be, give them a direction they should be going in or let them know when a deadline is. Providing your employees with these things along with constructive criticism and positive feedback allows you to mentor your employees and take an active role in their growth.

3. Pay Attention When your employee comes to you with an issue, whether personal or work related, make sure to actually listen. Employees like to know that you are paying attention rather than you seeming more interested in answering your blackberry.

4. Give a New Project Some issues can be resolved simply by giving an employee a new project or challenge. A workplace devoid of challenges can result in boredom and in turn, an unhappy employee. By giving them the chance to be challenged and get excited about something that is more aligned with their skill set can actually increase an employee’s productivity and mood.

5. Provide Training By giving an employee or multiple employees a chance to take a class or work on a new skill – or even the opportunity to attend a seminar—is a great way to motivate employees. It gets them excited about something new and gives them something to share with the team.

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