The world is an unhappy place when…….. you don’t like your job.
Job dissatisfaction is the gateway to disengagement and disengagement leads to reduced performance. This is not just in the case of the individual staff member, but potentially across the whole organisation. Disengaged staff can have a detrimental impact on team performance.
The resulting lowered performance can seriously affect your bottom line. There is an accepted correlation between happy and engaged staff, brand image, corporate performance and stakeholder value. In most cases engaged staff = good brand image and flows towards profit and performance, not the other way round.
However, if an employee is disengaged, they rarely verbalise their discontent to their manager, which is a problem. So how do you deal with this?
Managers must not only be able to recognise the non-verbal cues of disengagement, but also take steps to re-engage the employee in a positive way. Ask yourself if your managers can recognise excellence, and reversely, recognise lowering performance. Ignore this at your peril.
How can you tell when an employee is unhappy at work if they don’t tell you? Actually, the warning signs are fairly obvious. They include:-
1. An “I don’t care” attitude
Coupled with lower productivity, employees that illustrate reduced interest or care for their work activities, projects, or their organisation’s overall mission are likely to be disengaged.
2. Increased tardiness or absences
An employee who exhibits a pattern of tardiness or regular absences – constantly late, leaving early, “the kids were ill”, dental visits, doctor’s appointments – are often the first signs that the employ is most likely disengaged.
The lower productivity, increased absence and decreased motivation to get tasks completed may indicate they could be looking for a new job.
3. Declining quality of work
Failing to meet deadlines or meeting deadlines with sub-standard work on a regular basis shows that an employee is less committed, especially if you know them to be capable of better performance.
4. Mood swings
A once happy employee that slips into a persistent or regular negative attitude might be having a bout of personal trouble, or they might be disengaged—either situation is detrimental to the workplace, and must be addressed.
Recognising the first signs of discontent can help you identify a disengaged employee and allow you to take the necessary steps to try to get them back on board – starting with engaging them on a personal level.
It’s important for the manager to be a good listener in these discussions, as unhappy employees may find it socially awkward to air their grievances, or they may fear repercussions for speaking up. Make them feel safe from those things and have a candid conversation that gets to the root of the issue—it will put them on the road to happiness.
The consequences of failing to recognise unhappy staff are considerable. With the high cost of staff recruitment, training and getting a new team member up to speed, the most effective staff retention solution is to keep your finger on the pulse of staff engagement.
What are you and your managers doing to ensure your staff are happy?
Call the Brownie Points team today on 03 9909 7411 or email us at email@example.com to discuss what we can do to help your business.