6 Ways to Reengage Dissatisfied and Upset Employees


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Unhappy staff can damage client relationships and lead to reduced productivity and morale - all of which will ultimately prevent your business from achieving its objectives.

Article 4 Minutes
6 Ways to Reengage Dissatisfied and Upset Employees

The most productive employees are those who are satisfied and engaged with their work.

If an employee has come to you and reported feeling demotivated and disengaged in their job, it’s important to address the problem immediately before others follow suit and you risk losing top talent.

So what can you do to reengage employees who aren’t happy in their jobs?

1. Focus on offering a healthy work-life balance

Work-life balance is becoming an increasingly important factor when it comes to determining job satisfaction, with 83% of millennials agreeing it’s a deal breaker when considering new opportunities.

Between the ages of 25-45, employees can struggle to balance work with other responsibilities, like childcare or taking care of elderly parents. Add to the mix ensuring their hobbies and interests are given enough attention, and employees can often feel overwhelmed and dissatisfied with the demands of their job.

Make work-life balance a key component of your organizational culture. Consider offering benefits such as flexible work schedules, remote work opportunities and generous parental leave policies.

2. Understand what drives your employees

If an employee appears or has admitted being dissatisfied, it’s important to understand what they might be missing and what is no longer driving them about their job.

Once you know what initially attracted them to the role or organization, you can reassess their responsibilities or assign them relevant projects that inspire them.

Having a handle on your employees' passions and future goals can help you connect the company with their personal needs.

3. Create an engaged workplace culture

Over 75% of US employees agree that company culture plays an important role in job satisfaction, yet only 34% report feeling engaged at work.

Facilitating a company culture that encourages employees to want to come to work every morning should be one of the main focuses of your organization. Doing this plays a key role in employee engagement and retention, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Good company culture is built from the foundations, and should be supportive, emphasize wellbeing and foster strong relationships. Additionally, the company culture should be consistently nurtured to ensure it meets the shifting needs of your employees.

Taking steps to improve your company culture to be employee-focused reduces the likelihood of workers feeling burnt out, decreased morale and productivity and high turnover rates. What’s more, 88% of job seekers agree that company culture is important when choosing which jobs to apply for.

4. Listen and encourage feedback

If employees have voiced their dissatisfaction, it’s crucial to ensure they feel like they're being heard and understood. Be sure to address their concerns early on and do your best to facilitate a culture of open communication and honesty.

In the same way, providing employees with positive reinforcement and constructive feedback shows that you're aware of the work they're doing.

Not feeling valued at work is the number one reason employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, so it’s important to ensure you’re recognising their achievements.

Moving forward, be sure to regularly check in with employees to address any concerns they may have before they become problematic.

5. Offer opportunities for professional development

According to one survey, almost half of the workforce wish that their employers would provide better opportunities for professional development and advancement.

Providing employees with opportunities to learn and expand their skillsets is crucial to ensuring they're moving forward in their careers.

The professional world is increasingly competitive, so it’s more important than ever before for employees to keep honing their skills to avoid complacency and dissatisfaction at work.

6. Let them in on the bigger picture

Often, employees become dissatisfied because they don’t feel included in larger organizational imperatives. They might feel that they aren’t seeing the direct impacts of their work and become disillusioned with their purpose within the company.

One way to prevent this from happening is to ensure their achievements are recognized and valued by management. Hold regular meetings to brief employees on what’s going on at board level, while offering them the chance to contribute their own opinions and ideas to discussions involving the goals and direction of the organization.

Consider your role in this process. Rather than simply passing along larger organizational imperatives, how can you connect the dots for team members who are wondering, “How does any of this affect me?” Help them see direct lines between their day-to-day, weekly, monthly or quarterly work and the company’s overall long-term goals.

Rather than giving dissatisfied and upset employees more reason to resign, take steps to offer them an alternative with the company by proposing measures that will increase their happiness at work.

If one employee reports feeling disengaged, it’s likely that others will too. Moreover, having a high turnover rate harms your organization’s reputation - so implementing initiatives to keep employees motivated and engaged is key to ensuring the success and growth of your company.

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