7 Signs Your Employees Are Unhappy

Most employees like to do a good job at work, taking pride in what they do, and have good job satisfaction. But, like all employers, you will sometimes have to deal with unhappy employees. Dissatisfaction occurs for various reasons (money, career, personal) and it’s up to you as the employer to spot the problem and motivate them to turn things around.

Here are some of the 7 warning signs to look out for:

A Drop In Productivity

While a drop in productivity may be difficult to measure, it’s not usually difficult to notice. When the quality or quantity of an employee’s work starts to drop, it’s important to work out why as soon as possible and find a solution to mitigate the damage to the employee and to office morale.

They Are Never Around

They might constantly come in late, watch the clock and bolt as soon as it’s quitting time, or simply take as much personal time as possible without blatantly flouting the rules. She might be interviewing elsewhere or simply avoiding being at work.

Pulling Sickies…Often

An increase in sick days is a big red flag. Generally, if someone is happy at work, they’re happy to come to work. Of course, this kind of behaviour can also be a sign of psychological issues, so it’s important to determine whether an employee has recently begun to be absent often or if it’s been a problem since they started with the company. If it’s the latter, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find a solution and you should treat the issue with sensitivity.

Bad Attitude

A bad attitude from an employee who has previously been pleasant and hard working is an indication that something is very wrong. If they’re only aiming their negativity at you and not their colleagues, chances are their dissatisfaction is with management.

Co-worker Complaints

If an employee’s behaviour doesn’t signal to you that there’s a problem (or if you just miss the signs), your other employees often will. Changes in working behaviour, especially negative ones, are usually not overlooked by co-workers. In these situations, it’s important not to jump to conclusions. When two employees complain about each other, it’s not always obvious who’s at fault. Instead, reserve judgement and talk to other employees

They Are Secretive

Unhappy employees often talk rubbish about the company, other co-workers and/or their manager to vent their frustrations. Does the employee spend a lot of time whispering to colleagues or close her chat window immediately as you approach their desk?

They Don’t Cooperate

Unhappy employees often try to rebel in small ways to battle the frustration and powerlessness they feel in hating a job they depend on to pay their bills. They will often ignore mandates such as signing up for required training or coming to a company meetings.

How To Make Employees Happy Again

Don’t talk at them. Listen. The employee probably has stored up this problem for months and he or she needs time to get it out of their system, so sit back, listen and take notes to refer back to when it’s your turn to talk. Ensure you praise your employees when they do well, encourage them to move forward and give them the tools they need to do their job well.


If this advice hasn’t worked then perhaps you need to look at finding some new talent for your business.