Most managers know that happier employees are more productive. A wide body of research supports this point. In fact, one recent study found that happy employees are 20% more productive than those that are unhappy. In sales, happiness tends to have an even greater effect, with satisfied employees achieving nearly 40% more sales.
It seems clear that satisfied employees are naturally more motivated and this turns into desirable business outcomes. If you suspect that your employees are unhappy, what can you do about it?
The good news is you don’t have to just accept that you’re running an unhappy workplace. Knowing why employees feel unhappy is the first step in making your business more productive. Here are the most common reasons for employee dissatisfaction at work:
#1: Employees Don’t Feel Heard
It should come as no surprise that one of the most common reasons for employee unhappiness is lack of engagement. When employees don’t perceive clear opportunities to offer input and contribute to the way the organization is run, they are more likely to have a decrease in productivity.
When employees don’t feel heard, they feel undervalued. Too many managers make the mistake of thinking that higher wages equal value, but it’s only part of the equation. In addition to receiving fair compensation for their work, employees want to know that their voice matters. By offering opportunities to provide input and elicit feedback, management can effectively improve the engagement of their employees.
#2: Employees Don’t Feel Properly Trained
Employee training is an investment, not only in the company but in the employees themselves. When you offer quality employee training, you send the message that you, as the manager, care about the employees’ success in their work. By contrast, a lack of training can send the message that management does not care about this investment, which makes it easier for employees to become complacent and invest less themselves.
An investment in training is an investment in employee growth. In fact, a 10% increase in workforce education contributed to an 8.6% gain in business productivity, according to the National Center for Educational Equality of the Workforce. When employees feel thrown into tasks without proper direction or training, however, their performance and self-efficacy are likely to suffer.
#3: Lack of Recognition for Accomplishments
How do you react when an employee does something well? Many managers make the mistake of dismissing good work performance as nothing more than a standard part of doing the job. However, a little recognition goes a long way toward improving employee productivity and morale. In fact, a survey by TJinsite found that more than a third of workers consider lack of recognition the number one hindrance of their workplace productivity.
On the other hand, rewards serve as a significant morale booster that increases their willingness to try hard and do well. To create happy employees, communication is key. Let them know that their voices count and vesting in opportunities for employee growth, and recognizing their accomplishments, you can invest in your employees’ success, help them understand that they are valued members of your organization. By eliciting input, in which will lead to more desirable outcomes for your own company.
Now that you're aware of the top reasons why your employees may be unhappy in the workplace, you're now better equipped to take proactive steps to avoid negativity. Your next step includes putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and documenting an initial plan on how you can ensure your employees feel like they are being valued.