Unveiling 5 Signs of Unhappy Employees at Work

August 18, 201610:41 am1187 views

In these fast-paced times, leaders are often too busy to notice employees’ sudden distractions from work or signs that indicate they are unhappy at work. While some leaders do miss out on active employee interaction and communication with the talented performers, since they spend most of their time away from offices on business travel.

So it is very difficult for a business leader to minutely observe the signs employee exudes when unhappy with their job role, performance appraisals, colleagues or overall atmosphere at work.

As a HR manager, it is very important to stay vigilant and aware of the employee’s moves, and not ignore signs of discontentment showcased by the employees, such as frequent absenteeism from work, loss of interest in the job role, no active participation and collaboration in team work and so on.

Unhappy feeling at work lowers employee motivation levels to reflect on decreased performance, and productivity. Sadness and disappointments at work, dampen employee spirits to function at their prime efficiencies. Herein, timely intervention from the HR manager is a must.

See also: 5 Best Ways to Tackle an Angry Employee

Since the HR professional can seek answers from an employee and understand reasons for lack of progress and lower morale  – it could be personal distress, conflicts with coworkers, bullying at work, lack of encouragement by the manager and unfair performance appraisal, insufficient salary and benefits etc.

Here are the most-evident signs employees generally showcase when they are unhappy at work, and employers must keep a close-watch and tab at all times:

Calling in Sick and Higher Absenteeism Levels

Whether the employee is really sick or pretending to be sick, unhappy employees have no passion to come to work everyday. A sick leave is generally considered to be the ‘safe’ escape and valid reason to not come to work.

It is important for managers to find out the real hidden reason for an employee’s absenteeism from duties. If they are not genuinely sick, there could definitely be other reasons that makes them stay away from work.

On understanding the real issue, HR managers can help such employees to meet their satisfaction levels at work by offering them the benefits they seek, and persuade them to get back to duties.

Coming in Late and Leaving on Time

An unhappy employee usually comes in late, watches the clock and leaves the office on time even if tasks for the day stay unaccomplished. They do not prefer to stay longer hours at work, despite the timeline and work demands, and at every opportune moment they prefer to stay outside office, when they manage to sneak in time.

Bad Negative Attitude at Work

Bad attitude from an employee who has been previously nice and hard-working is a definite sign that something is going terribly wrong. Colleagues, managers and senior heads are the direct targets of an employee’s negative attitude.

Since the bad attitude at work is reflected and evidently noticed by all members of the team and the management alike, HR managers should hold a careful intervention and private discussion with the employee to understand their concerns and approach them politely for a nice talk (perhaps over coffee in a light-hearted tone set, should work best).

Unhappy Employees are Secretive

To vent out their frustrations at work, unhappy employees often talk ill about the company, their managers or their co-workers to the trusted friends at work. They tend to spend a lot of time in gossips, chat with their colleagues constantly and close the chat window as soon as the manager approaches them.

Such secretive attitude of an employee at work clearly reflects on the unhappiness seeded within.

No Cooperation with Coworkers in a Team

Happy employees are generally pleased to share good cooperation with their colleagues and coworkers in a team, while unhappy ones are not. They are rebels. They try to win over and fight back in situations such as to vent out their frustrations at work, many at times even ignoring the mandate issued by their immediate supervisors.

It can be extremely difficult to cooperate with unhappy coworkers. This  will undoubtedly disrupt the overall teamwork workings and impact performance.

Unhappy feeling leads to decreased motivation levels and affects team performance at work. HR managers should find ways to talk it out with the unhappy employee and probe to understand their concerns, then chalk out a solution to the problem. However, in case these successive attempts to convince and win back talent fails, then it’s advisable for an employer to let go of such employees.

Next read: 5 Ways to Build Sense of Ownership at Work

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