What to Do When You Have an Unhappy Employee

Unhappy Employee

Once upon a time, your entire staff was happy and engaged. However, things have changed. You’re pretty sure one of your team members is unhappy and unsure what to do about it.

Maybe this person isn’t as productive as they used to be, has a newly minted lousy attitude, or has recently been clashing with other employees. If so, these are telltale signs of discontent, so it’s time to take action. Here’s some advice to help you turn things around.

Five Tips to Deal With an Unhappy Employee

Promptly Address the Situation

It’s important to talk to the employee as soon as you realize there’s a problem because letting things fester will only make things worse. Take the person aside for a one-on-one chat in your office. Employees know you’re busy, so seeing that you care enough to prioritize their happiness will mean a lot.

Be Kind

Your employee is dealing with something, so don’t make it worse by being short with them. They deserve a boss who treats them with compassion, and they’re much more likely to open up if you make them feel comfortable. Sure, their attitude might be causing you a headache, but you have to put that aside right now and focus on helping the person in front of you.

Ask the Right Questions

There’s no shortage of reasons why an employee might be unhappy — i.e., feeling like they have a lack of support, not enough recognition, low pay — so you can’t assume you know what’s going on. Instead, it’s crucial to ask pointed questions to get to the root of the problem.

Questions might include, “How can I make things easier for you?” “Do you enjoy the work you’re doing?” or “Is there tension on the team I’m unaware of?”

Schedule Regular Follow-Ups

Hopefully, you’ll be able to figure out what’s going on in your first meeting and create a plan to change things for the better. However, that doesn’t mean your work is complete. Show the employee you care by putting regular follow-ups on the calendar, so you can connect and see how things are going. This will give them a set time to talk to you about any issues they’re having, which will make them feel valued.

Hire Right Every Time

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