Revealed: The Biggest Causes of Employee Unhappiness

As a business owner, you will understand the importance of a happy employee. Happiness breeds greater productivity, loyalty, and a positive atmosphere in the workplace. With a motivated and efficient workforce, you can guarantee greater profits, and your business will grow as a result. Success will surely follow.

On the other hand, an unhappy employee will work less and grumble more. They might have zero loyalty to your business. And they might even resign from your employ. You will then have to deal with the financial consequences.

With the above in mind, it’s important to know the factors behind employee unhappiness. When you have gained an understanding, you will be in a better position to know what needs to be changed within your business.

Chances are, we probably don’t need to tell you the reasons behind employee unhappiness. If you have ever been miserable in the workplace when working for an employer, you can probably write this article yourself. But just in case life has always been sunshine and rainbows for you, or if you need some real-world statistics into the issue, then you might be interested in reading a (fairly) recent article that listed some of the biggest causes of employee unhappiness.

We take a closer look at the linked statistics below.

#1: Not Being Paid Enough

38.9 % of employees cited this as the biggest reason for their unhappiness, and it’s with little wonder. We could all do with an extra boost to our bank accounts, and this is partly thanks to the rising costs of living.

So, think about the employees in your care? Are you paying them what they are worth? At the very least, you should be paying them the minimum wage, but to keep them on your side, you might want to make the appropriate changes to their salaries. It might be that you need to cut costs in other aspects of your business to give you the means to boost their pay packets, and you might want to hire fewer people to your business, as you will then have the resources to pay more to the people you already employ. When greater productivity ensues as a result, it might be that you don’t need to employ new staff anyway.

#2: No Room for Progression

36% of employees are unhappy about a lack of progression, apparently. For all the go-getters out there, this can become a real problem. With the desire to do more with their lives, and perhaps to earn more too, it’s understandable that they would want to move up the ranks in their chosen career.

Can you offer room for progression in your business? It’s worth thinking about, as you might lose your best employees if you don’t. Consider the employees who are ready for promotion, and give them the career boost that they need. And if there is no room for progression, you might still give your employees extra responsibilities when they want them. This way, they will feel less stagnant in their positions, and they might be more inclined to stick around in your employ for longer.

#3: Poor Company Culture

30.8% of employees are unhappy about the poor company culture in their workplaces. It might be because there is an atmosphere of negativity within the company they work for. There might be a lack of ethics and vision. And there might be little being done from the higher-ups in moving the company forward.

So, think about your business. Do you have a mission statement? Is there a positive vibe within the workplace? Do you run your business on the basis of ethical values? Are you doing all you can to move your business forward? Your employees might start to grumble if you neglect any one of these aspects, and that could affect both their productivity and loyalty. Think about what you need to do then, and take steps to improve the company culture within your business.

#4: Poor Work-Life Balance

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, or so the saying goes, and this is true of the 21.8% of the people interviewed for the survey. A better work-life balance is something many of us strive for, as we can become tired, frustrated, and unhappy if we are spending too much of our time in the workplace.

Thinking about the people you employ, you might want to find ways to improve their work-life balance. So, you might want to give them the opportunity to work from home occasionally. You might want to cut out the need for overtime. And you might want to consider the practices of those flexible companies who give their employees a little more freedom within the working week. You will improve employee morale if you do, and you might be happier too if you allow yourself better opportunities for work-life balance.

#5: Boring Daily Routine

18.7% of employees are unhappy with their boring routines, according to the survey. This might be a knock-on effect of a poor work-life balance, and it might be a consequence of a lack of career progression too. They might also be tired of the mundanity of the tasks they have to do.

As an employer, you can consider some of the other points we have made within this article. By letting them work from home, for example, or by changing their responsibilities, your employees might feel better about their daily routines. You might also do more to bring an element of fun into the workplace. So, you might want to include some fun additions in the employee break room, and you could consider the best work happy hour ideas to brighten up your employee’s day. Ask for feedback from your employees too. If they are bored at work, they might have other ideas that could be implemented within your business.

#6: Disliking the Work Hours

15.3% of employees are unhappy with their work hours. Thankfully, this is something you might be able to change. Using some of the ideas listed previously, you might reduce the need for overtime, allow for flexible working, and bring more fun into the workplace to make those work hours fly by.

#7: Disliking the Boss

14.9% of employees dislike their employers, and there could be some very good reasons why. If they are ruled over with an iron fist, overlooked for promotions, or ignored on a daily level, then it’s understandable that resentment might breed.

So, what about you? Are you a good boss? Or do your employees secretly (or publically) despise you? Here are some ideas on how to be a better boss. Follow them, especially if your leadership has been lacking in any way.

#8: Having a Long Commute

This is a real cause of unhappiness for 13.6% of employees in the survey. It might be a cause of unhappiness for you and your employees too.

What can you do about it? As we have already suggested, consider remote working as a possibility, as this will cut out the need for the daily commute. Alternatively, move your business premises to a more central location, as this might result in you receiving more customers and clients too!

#9: Disliking Colleagues

5% of employees are unhappy with their colleagues. In some cases, there may be very petty reasons as to why they dislike them. On the other hand, there could be some genuine reasons for being upset, such as having to put up with workplace bullies or having to work harder because of lazy colleagues.

Thinking about your employees, have you noticed any signs of dissension in the ranks? Take action if so as, for the welfare of the people you employ, you might need to manage the difficult employees who cause misery in your workplace.

#10: Private Life Issues Affecting Work-Life

4.8% of employees cited this as a reason for unhappiness.

Now, we don’t know what those private issues could be, and in the case of your employees, you might be unsure too. However, while you might not want to get involved in the private issues of your employees, you might have to to if those issues are affecting their performance at work. Keep an open-door policy, and be ready to listen and support those employees who share their private concerns with you. It might be that a smile and a reassuring comment from you will give them some semblance of happiness while they’re at work, although you might consider giving them some time off if needed too.

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