6 Signs of Unhappy Employees (And How to Quickly Address Them)

When an employee's feeling disengaged from his or her work, the warning signs are there: You may start to see them withdraw from team activities, or perhaps display a negative demeanor when they were once positive and upbeat. As a manager, knowing how to speak with your team about these behaviors can help you discover where the root cause lies, as well as the best path forward.

 

A. Distrust

2016-10-17-1476715744-1319311-BenMaitland.pngWhenever I experience or feel an employee is unhappy, discouraged or not performing at their best, I ask them to take a walk so we can get some air and discuss. I find that taking the time to listen to them and see how you can support them goes a long way to bringing the best out of your employees as well as building lasting trust. - Ben Maitland-Lewis, Pretty Instant

A. A Negative Attitude

2016-10-17-1476715785-6081148-JessicaBaker.pngIf there's an employee whose behavior is having a negative impact, you need to nip it in the bud. Be timely about it because negativity spreads. Ask the employee to be specific about what is creating the negative thoughts and actions.The more you listen to employees and take an active interest in their concerns, the less likely they will be to complain. - Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

A. Full Disconnect

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If an employee feels disconnected, they'll start doing only the bare minimum necessary to remain employed. Their work might still be completely adequate, but they're fully capable of doing more and you both know it. Sit down and talk to them - as a friend or friendly acquaintance rather than an employer. Find out what's bothering them and work with them to address the issue. - Steven Buchwald, The E2 Visa Lawyer

A. Increased Professional Development Activity

2016-10-17-1476715838-355419-TonyBanta.pngI'm seen professional development activity as a pretty reliable leading indicator to attrition. The best approach I've ever used is to have a candid conversation with team members like this to talk about where they're looking to go in life. Whether we're their destination or just a stop along the way, I look to make sure it is a mutually beneficial relationship. - Tony Banta, Live Mercury, Inc.

A. Lack of Enthusiasm

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If an employee is unenthusiastic about working, that is usually a sign of an unhappy employee. This can be caused by several factors, ranging from family problems to general company disagreements. The best solution to this problem would be to address the issue directly and offer your help. - Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning

A. Barely Getting By

2016-10-17-1476715899-7176299-BenWalker.pngWe've seen this a few times with some of our medical transcription and law enforcement transcription team members in the past. They had started to do the bare minimum, got much quieter in meetings and hoped no one would notice. Fortunately we are a close knit team and were able to have personal meetings with the employees to let them know how much they are appreciated and needed. - Ben Walker,Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

 

These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.