TSI Blog

Much Muttering Going On

May 27th, 2014 by Alison McKinney

We all love happy employees! But what is for sure is that it is very difficult for organisations to keep their employees happy and there will always be a certain amount of discontented employees to deal with.

These chronic grumblers have the distinctive ability to spread their discontent and dissatisfaction through the workplace, and before you know it, other formerly happy and engaged team-mates suddenly realise that they’re not as happy as they had first thought.

What is particularly problematic for employers is, not all unhappy employees let their managers know that they are disgruntled at work. Managers should look out for tell-tale signs from employees that would show that they are unhappy and disengaged at work. These, for example, could be:-

  • Coming in late or leaving work early
  • Gossiping, muttering and being troublesome with work colleagues
  • Unhappiness with personal and career development; demanding managers to do something about it even if training and clear and appropriate feedback has already been given
  • “Playing the victim”
  • Not completing tasks on time and/or avoiding meetings

It’s important that managers and HR departments work together to help motivate and address the issues of discontented employees. Identifying the problems and tell-tale signs is one thing. Putting it all together to address them is another matter altogether. Good dialogue, careful listening, an open-door policy, and preserving trust and good relationships is the best preventive medicine. And, prevention is always better than cure.

Sometimes, employees just need to be heard and given opportunities to raise their issues and concerns. They need to be given opportunities, to both formally and informally air their worries and/or seek feedback on any questions they may have.

However, it can be difficult to gauge just how many discontented employees an organisation has, and just what the issues are causing employees to be so unhappy.

One way to ascertain the level of discontentment in a workforce is to conduct an employee survey. These surveys can be particularly useful and if an organisation uses the information the survey yields correctly, can be a great tool to gain employee trust.

Formal processes, such as through an employee engagement survey, clear feedback procedures, or a proper grievance policy, can go a long way to help capture and enhance employee contentment levels and create a situation where there is a better chance of having an engaged and happy workforce.

For further information on employee engagement surveys, contact us on +44 (0) 1255 850051.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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