Why Your Employees Aren’t Happy

Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Business Management [ 0 Comments ]

why your employees are unhappySometimes, as a small business owner or leader, it’s not easy to keep an ear to the ground and actually assess the reality inside of a business department. However, this is one of the main jobs of someone who’s actively engaged in management. Businesses, especially small businesses and startups, that ignore workplace morale often end up suffering as a result. So what makes employees happy or unhappy?

Rewarding Work

According to Yast, 80% of employees list enjoyable or rewarding work as a top reason for staying with an employer. In addition, 76% mentioned a work/life balance that accommodates their needs. The survey also shows a 10 point gap between women and men, where 72% of women and 62% of men cited a good work/life balance.

Small Business Tip: If your industry allows it, offer employees a flexible schedule or remote working capabilities to facilitate a more harmonious equilibrium between work life and personal life.

Incentives and Recognition

Many workers also cite incentives and different kinds of support as a real reason for being happy in their jobs – and conversely, the lack of these resources as a discouraging influence. In fact, 65% of employees said they would be happier and more productive if they had more recognition in the workplace.

Small Business Tip: Employee recognition is a must. Keep in mind that everyone responds to recognition differently. One employee recognition program does not fit all. Get to know the different personalities in your office separated by interests, generations, and lifestyles. Generation Y employees might respond positively to more creative perks like a flexible schedule, concert tickets, and free beer while Baby Boomers may appreciate financial and corporate bonuses.

Related: Employee Recognition for a Multigenerational Workforce

Distrust and Conflict

Another widely distributed infographic found here at Entrepreneur.com shows that 48% of responders experience a loss of trust that influenced their decision to leave the company. Another 42% said their workplace environment involves verbal conflict, which can have a depressing effect on a business and on the individuals who work there.

Small Business Tip: Encourage and establish a standard of open communication. A pungent aroma of hierarchy can kill creativity, trust, and employee confidence. Try a little experiment: start a “Lunch with the Boss” program. Take 1 or 2 employees out to lunch and open the conversation up to an honest dialogue on any issues floating around the workspace.

Salary and Benefits

Inadequate pay and benefits are also reasons why many employees feel dissatisfied with their jobs. The Undercover Recruiter shows 43% of survey respondents are not happy with their salary. Unfortunately, resulting high turnover could cost companies up to $2.3 billion in the U.S., along with other factors like absenteeism.

Small Business Tip: If your budget allows anything but a pay raise, it’s time to get creative. If you want to retain the talent you’ve acquired then some sort of financial incentive will be needed. Maybe it’s supplying the office kitchen full of food so employees can cut breakfast and lunch costs, or offering a money-saving gym membership.

Related: 3 Budget-Friendly Ways to Recognize Employees

Lack of Support

Another major reason that people quit their jobs is related to a simple lack of support. That may mean not having the tools to do their jobs, or not having required scheduled breaks. It may mean not having any emotional support from executives, or not having the recognition workers feel they deserve. This list of top 10 factors from TLNT includes several of these concepts in its coverage of employee dissatisfaction.

Small Business Tip: Hold monthly training workshops that allow your employees a chance to develop career-building skills. This can be done fairly cheap as well. Help your employees acquire the expertise needed for a job-well done and facilitate employee confidence.

Related: How to Tackle HR’s Biggest Concern: Employee Retention

All of the above contribute to higher rates of turnover and other events that cost businesses a lot of money each year. Think about avoiding some of these pitfalls by instilling the right kinds of values in a workplace.

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