How to Spot an Unhappy Employee

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As leaders, we do a lot to keep our employees happy. And why shouldn’t we when the benefits of happy employees are so abundant:

  • Greater creativity
  • Better at their jobs
  • Perform better under pressure
  • Lower cost of turnover
  • Better negotiators and closers
  • Stronger client relationships
  • More productive
  • Enjoy their jobs
  • Stay-on for the long haul

The list goes on and on. Yet, there’s always one or a few that falls through the cracks. For one reason or another, they’re unhappy at their jobs.

Perhaps it’s the work environment, co-workers, workload, clients or something completely unrelated to business.

Just because an employee is unhappy doesn’t mean they’re going to quit, and you probably don’t want them to. If you’re not tapped into your team, you may be overlooking “the one that got away” and ultimately hindering business performance.

Have a look at these 5 Red Flags For Spotting An Unhappy Employee, so you can get them back on board or know if it’s time to cut ties:

1. They’re the odd man out.

You can’t expect all your employees to be best friends, and it’s probably a good thing they maintain a certain professional distance, but an employee that hasn’t seemed to “click” with anyone may be a warning sign.

Feeling happy at work is to feel included, to feel a part of something — employees stay for the people, above anything else.

If an employee hasn’t made any relationships with co-workers, it’s unlikely they’re enjoying their job either.

2. They’re consistently M.I.A.

Coming in late for work, taking regular personal days, bolting at the end of the work day, watching the clock, etc.

These are all signs your employee is less interested in contributing to the organization and more interested in spending the least amount of time, as possible.

3. They’re just barely scraping by.

The bare minimum is the name of the game. Sure, they get their work done, but they never go above and beyond, especially without being asked.

While you can’t say anything bad about the work they are doing, there’s still a lot to be desired, and they’re definitely not getting a gold star for effort.

4. There’s always a “but.”

They disagree often and have no problem verbalizing it. There’s pushback on every decision or request — they’re uncooperative and rebel wherever possible.

Perhaps they’ve even outright ignored a task or request because they disagreed with it. The same goes for coworker relationships, where an unhappy employee will be resistant to doing favors or picking up the slack for another.

5. Their change in behavior is sudden.

Think back on recent events and assess if the employee in question has changed their behavior rather suddenly.

Perhaps they were denied a raise, skimmed over for a promotion or received negative feedback. These situations can be highly demotivating and enough to derail an employee completely.

We Can Help!

If you’ve spotted an unhappy employee in your organization, here are some helpful articles you can use to get them back on track:

How to Build a Positive Culture, People Want to Be a Part Of

4 Ways to Gain Employee Buy-In

4 Ways to Demonstrate Respectful Communication for Workplace Success

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Article Name
How to Spot an Unhappy Employee
Description
Something’s up with your employee, but you can’t put your finger on it. Discover 5 Red Flags for Spotting an Unhappy Employee and earn how to win them over.
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POSTED ON: Coaching, Leadership
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