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5 Reasons Your Employees Are Unhappy

And what you, as a manager or business owner, can do about them.

© Getty Images Man at laptop holding glasses with one hand and gripping around his nose with the other, as if tired or stressed

By Maurie Backman, The Motley Fool

Most workers go through periods where they're less than content. But if your employees are overwhelmingly unhappy, that's a problem that you, as a business owner or manager, need to address.

If your staff is largely disgruntled, you're apt to find that a large percentage of your workforce jumps ship or starts lagging performance-wise. Neither situation is ideal. Therefore, you'll need to think about why your workers aren't satisfied and aim to address those issues as best as you can. Here are a few possible reasons to explore.


1. They're underpaid

When you don't pay your workers what they deserve, they can easily grow disgruntled and feel unappreciated. If you suspect that lackluster salaries are driving your employees to a place of unhappiness, it may be time to review your compensation strategy and take steps to pay more competitively. That could mean shifting resources around or even downsizing some dead weight on your staff to better compensate your most valuable players.


2. They don't get enough time off

Anyone who works needs time to refresh and recharge. If your time-off policy is such that it doesn't allow your workers to do just that, then it's time to look at adding more vacation or personal days to your current allotment. Furthermore, make sure you're offering your workers enough sick time. If you don't, there's a good chance they'll bring their germs to the office, thereby making everyone else ill and miserable on an ongoing basis.


3. They're not given ample flexibility

These days, a large number of companies are recognizing the importance of offering workers more flexibility. If your business has yet to adopt a more flexible culture, it's time to get on board the flexibility train. Doing so will show your employees that you respect the fact that they have lives, while allowing them to lower their stress levels and better manage the various responsibilities they're grappling with.


4. They don't feel supported by their managers

There's perhaps no worse feeling at work than the notion that you're on your own when it comes to dealing with challenges. If that seems to be the sentiment at your company, a little manager training may be in order. This could mean encouraging managers to make themselves more available, or even mandating recurring one-on-one meetings so that employees are guaranteed some attention and face time.


5. They feel like their jobs are going nowhere

When employees feel like there's no mobility on the job, their motivation gets instantly zapped. If you think that's part of the reason behind your employees' unhappiness, then you should make an effort to prove that their roles are not, in fact, dead-end. You might implement a mentoring program that allows newer workers to get advice from seasoned employees, or create a shadowing program where employees get to learn from each other and dabble in different parts of the business. Mixing things up and keeping them interesting will no doubt improve your workers' outlook.

Unhappy employees can easily bring your business down. If your staff seems mostly dissatisfied, take the time to get to the bottom of things -- before your company really loses out.

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Finance Magazine: 5 Reasons Your Employees Are Unhappy
5 Reasons Your Employees Are Unhappy
And what you, as a manager or business owner, can do about them.
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