Employee Dissatisfaction

What Causes Employee Dissatisfaction at Work and How to Fix it

What Causes Employee Dissatisfaction at Work and How to Fix it

Job dissatisfaction has a strong negative impact on an organization’s performance. The strength of the impact makes it important to identify and prevent or reduce the impact or causes of job dissatisfaction in your workplace.

Defining Job Dissatisfaction?

Job dissatisfaction happens when employees’ are disappointed with their jobs. This could be due to miscommunication from line managers or HR, or due to unrealistic expectations, or maybe just high expectations from the employee themselves. The broad categories or reasons are poor work environment, low pay, lack of recognition, lack of challenge or simulation, and poor management

Dissatisfaction leaves employees feeling negative, unmotivated, and uncommitted to the work they have. This lack of focus affects work performance and eventually, the organization’s performance is affected. 

Impact of Job dissatisfaction in your organization

  1. Disengagement 

Employees dissatisfied with their jobs are not emotionally invested or engaged with their employer. Decreased employee engagement will result in an employee that will never bother to go the extra mile or think outside the box to support the organization. Job performance will be mediocre at best

2.     Declining output

Low productivity of every employee adds up to affect the overall productivity of any organization. Dissatisfied employees are likely to share their unhappiness instead of focusing on their duties. This can affect other satisfied employees and spread negativity. 

3.     Increased turnover 

While it is the easy way out of a bad situation, having dissatisfied, and unproductive employees leave means that you can end up losing good resources, and potential and (previous) high performers. Losing employees is an added cost as the selection and hiring process can take time. High turnover rates are also a negative for an organization.

4.     Unfavorable Business Reputation 

An employee’s official performance and behavior is a representation of the place they work for.  Unhappy employees may not be cordial in official settings. They may even speak or act in ways that give customers, competitors, and job applicants a negative perception of the company.

Common Causes of Job Dissatisfaction

There can be many reasons for job dissatisfaction but if you deal with the potential causes the problem can to controlled to a great extent. Being alert to the following job dissatisfaction factors will help your organization build a satisfying work environment:

1.   Lack of appreciation

We all have an inherent need to be appreciated in everything we do. Being valued at work is not just about being recognized for performance. People want to believe they have worth as employees and colleagues.

Without appreciation, workers can lose their sense of purpose and become dissatisfied with their job.

To create a culture of appreciation in your workplace, adopt the following steps:

  • Encourage managers to keep an attentive interest toward their staff and be available to genuinely listen. Routine check-ins lets staff know they are noticed.
  • Managers should show appreciation for employees with immediate verbal 
  • Eliminate favoritism immediately.
  • Design an employee appreciation program or re-design the existing one. Include methods for peers to nominate and highlight each other. 

2.   Being or feeling underpaid

While pay rate doesn’t guarantee contentment, feeling that you are underpaid can add to job dissatisfaction. If an employee feels their pay doesn’t match their work performance, they will feel undervalued. Any opportunity with higher pay will entice them to leave their current job.

Conduct period reviews of market pay rates and compare them with the pay rates of existing staff. Are the pays comparable? If not, propose a new structure and evaluate salary increases. 

3.   Inadequate management

Managers with poor leadership skills can harm the success of your business. Employees need to be led straightforwardly. Uncertainty and lack of direction are often sources of frustration in the workplace. Conversely, employees who are inspired by their leaders will be more invested in their work.

Offer managers leadership guidelines and training to improve performance.

4.   Limited career prospects

career growth is part of work goals and interest in a current position will rise if it offers a growth potential to look forward to. When employees don’t see any growth opportunities, they feel dissatisfaction. Feeling stagnant can send workers right out the door to better prospects.

When an employer builds an environment for career growth and success, employees feel motivated. Managers should set aside time to know their career plans and help them with goal setting.

5.   Work-life balance

Most people are back to working full-time and spending most of their day at work, but we need time to focus on life away from work. family, friends, hobbies, and other responsibilities all have a part in our lives.

If your organization needs to appreciate how important it is for employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Showing staff that the business cares about their well-being goes a long way in preventing employee job dissatisfaction. 

Spotting Job Dissatisfaction at Work

There are some common behaviours that employees display when they are dissatisfied with their jobs. Some of the typical behaviours are:

1.   Disinterest and lack of enthusiasm

Employees are disinterested in their tasks and do not have the energy to complete them. They may seem easily distracted by their phones, socializing with coworkers, moving away from their workspace, and even daydreaming. There will be a general lack of focus on work 

  • Procrastination 

Employees that avoid work are putting off doing it because of a lack of interest, many disinterested staff does work at the last minute and make excuses when called out on it. When someone pays minimal attention to performing their work and delays it, the results are certain to be mediocre.

  • Tardiness and absenteeism

Employees dissatisfied with their jobs aren’t motivated to complete their responsibilities. Such an employee will have irregular timings at work and will be late and absent frequently. Without the motivation to come to work on time, dissatisfied employees may have to drag themselves to work and put off the unenjoyable experience. They also have higher absentee rates compared to others. 

  • Falling Performance

When employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, they are going to put in less effort, yielding less output. Without applying all their knowledge and skills to their work, it can take them twice as long to do something they did in an hour. With a lack of effort, results will also be mediocre. 

5.   Stress and negativity

All jobs have tough and challenging phases, which can cause stress, but dissatisfied employees are more prone to be stressed regularly. They will feel negative emotions about their tasks, the workplace, and even coworkers. 

When employees are displaying the above symptoms and are unsatisfied with their jobs, there will be a strong impact on your organization. The more employees that are experiencing job dissatisfaction, the more affected your workplace will be. Some discontented employees eventually leave, but some will stay and remain unhappy.

Employers can make mistakes and job dissatisfaction is a common workplace problem. However, if there is a will to solve the problem, determining the causes of job dissatisfaction can help to prepare and implement strategies to overcome it. 

Striving for a fully engaged and satisfied workforce is the best way HR can support business success.

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