Management Tips | Retaining Unhappy Employees

The signs are always there: unhappy employees begin to disengage from their jobs and their co-workers. The work performance slips below acceptable standards. As a manager, it is your responsibility to solve this problem. Studies have shown that it is much less expensive to keep a current employee than to hire and train a new one. So, while you could solve the problem by firing the employee, there may be some other avenues to try first. Here are some suggestions for turning an employee’s attitude around.

  1. Forget the “Exit Interview,” try a “Stay Interview.” Finding out why an employee quit is like trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube. You learn why it is out, but you can’t do anything to clean up the mess. Start talking to your current employees about their jobs instead. Ask them what they like and what they don’t like about their job, their team, and the management. Let them know their answers should be candid and they don’t need to fear that their job is in jeopardy. Then, most importantly, use the information you gathered to make real improvements.
  2. Positive feedback for employees. Many unsatisfied employees suggest they feel this way is because they often hear negative feedback about what they are doing wrong but they never hear anything about what they are doing right. Many employees leave because they don’t feel valued or respected. Recognition of their accomplishments goes a long way to encouraging employees to stay positive on the job.
  3. Encourage feedback from employees. Not only should you be sure to praise employees when they do a good job, but you also need to let employees provide their own feedback; positive or negative. When employees are comfortable sharing their concerns they can see that the company takes their feelings seriously. As with their stay interviews, make sure they understand that the information they share won’t negatively affect their job.
  4. Change up the work week. If you talk to all of your dissatisfied employees you may see a common theme. Their work/life balance is all out of whack. Coworkers often spend more time with each other than with their families and this can lead to burn out. Offer options for additional time off or flexible hours. If it is possible, allow your employees to work from home at least once a week.

Do you want to turn a dissatisfied team member into a satisfied employee? CornerStone Staffing has extensive employee relations experience and can work with you to determine a solution.   

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