How Do You Deal With Employee Dissatisfaction?
The diversity in the workplace can guarantee at any time there will be an employee who feels dissatisfied with their job. What’s your response to employee dissatisfaction?
- Do you take the time to understand the employee’s perspective?
- Do you feel that employees should be lucky to have a job in this economy?
- Are you just so busy that you can’t handhold an employee’s feelings of frustration?
- Do you have your own dissastifactions and feel powerless to help the employee?
There are many different variables in a workplace that can frustrate an employee: workplace environment, compensation, management policies as well as other employees. Put a group of people together and someone will be unhappy about something. In managing employees, you need to address an employee’s dissastifaction to decipher what is hampering the employee and what is the employee’s style of communication. Think about the following:
- How often do you meet with your team members?
- Do you meet only in groups or also 1:1 with each member and if so, how often?
- Do you know anything person about each employee?
- Do you stop what you are doing and listen?
- Do you set clear expectations on performance and help them meet them?
- Do you help them solve their work problems?
- Do you have their back with upper management?
Employee dissatisfaction isn’t only your responsibility as a manager. The employee and upper management need to be part of the solution. If you are the problem with the employee, then you need to change your behavior. Yet, even if you change, there is no guarantee that the employee will feel more satisfied. That’s where the employee comes in to be part of the solution. Some examples of employee dissatisfaction:
- Management style – the manager doesn’t recognize their performance. This is where you as a manager should help the employee voice their frustrations. Come up with a solution with the employee so they feel validated. You know yourself and you won’t always remember to give on the spot recognition. Instead have them do weekly reports…frustrations and accomplishments. Make sure your recognize the accomplishments and help them with the frustrations. Even a chronic complainer needs help, and in this case help them learn how to solve their own problems.
- Work/Life Balance – this is an ongoing issue in this economy as more demands are placed on individuals to meet business needs. Some employees thrive on the demand, others feel overwhelmed and need to step away from the job. Whatever type you have in your mix, you need to set boundaries around this grind so that employees don’t feel like it will never end. Employees will support you for the short haul, but will burn out on the long haul. If you know that the long haul is critical for each person to participate, then build in breaks. For example, every 8 weeks, each person get time off and you can stagger the time. Give them a mental health day…attached to a weekend and they are off…no work allowed for that employee. If you have a large team, you will need to come up with another realistic solution, but come up with something.
- Employee’s outside life – it’s important to recognize that each employee has a life outside of work. If the employee is a parent, how do you handle the importance of this role in their life? Just because an employee doesn’t voice their dissatisfaction with the job and it’s imposition on their family life, doesn’t mean they don’t feel it. Knowing what motivates an employee is an important tool in your box. You can help them solve their concerns as well as increase their performance.
In managing employees, there are two sides to the working relationship: That you be there for them and you engage your employees in the solution. Employee dissatisfaction is an issue that both manager and employee need to brainstorm solutions. You role in this process entails being part of the solution as well as setting up an open two way conversation about the issues. You may be able to easily solve one problem and not be able to make a change in another area. Open communication between you and the employee creates mutual respect.
If you have an employee who is never satisfied,
comes in fully charged looking for you to solve their problems,
you will need to set clear expectations that they are part of the solution.