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Seven Reasons Behind Employee Unhappiness (& How To Fix It)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

/ by Nurdin Budi Mustofa
Seven Reasons Behind Employee Unhappiness (& How To Fix It)
It’s important for employers to keep a watchful eye on the office. Being in charge means the boss has to pick up on the little things which impact output. Unhappiness is one of these things, and it isn’t hiding. According to studies, almost 56% of professionals are unhappy in their current job. That’s an incredible half of your overall labour bill. And, it isn’t as if they don’t value contentedness. More than 90% of people surveyed said people should love their job.

Hating the office and everything in it is a worrying sign for the management team. Unhappiness is bound to lead to a decline in output as workers decide they can’t be bothered. Only the ones that love their career put in the 110% needed to succeed. Employers, then, have to spot it early on and nip it in the bud to avoid future complications.

Figuring out someone is miserable is easier to say than to do. Some people are good at hiding it, while others have resting bitch face anyway. After all, it is a job and most people would rather do something else. To help, this post has put together a list of the seven main reasons behind employee unhappiness and how to fix the problems.

Low Salary

At least, that is how they view things from a monetary point of view. The labour bill is a difficult tightrope to walk. Workers will always feel as if they deserve more money even if they are mediocre at best. Some people are born to moan about how the company mistreats its staff. Secondly, no manager is ever going to bump up a person’s wage without justification, even if they do deserve a pay rise. The reason is straightforward: expenses. It’s your job to keep costs to a minimum, and paying the lowest amount possible is the easiest option. However, 39% of industry professionals are unhappy with the fact that they are paid a pittance so there needs to be a change. Start by ensuring there are paid punctually. has excellent software for unorganised businesses. Another smart way to do it is to give them extras which increase their monthly incomings. For instance, hand out bonuses at regular intervals throughout the year such as Christmas, Easter and summer. These are one-off payments yet the gesture will go a long way with the staff. Always negotiate when a valued member of the team decides to leave. These men and women are integral to the business and should be rewarded.

Lack Of Opportunities

Again, this is another gripe which is hard to solve. In any company, there are only a handful of positions up for grabs. Still, pretty much anyone with any drive will want to get their hands on a pay rise and more responsibility. It’s human nature and it’s what drives people to be better, which is great for the firm as a whole. After a while, employees will start to realise that they are fighting a losing battle and become disillusioned. When this happens, there’s no stopping them from looking elsewhere for better job opportunities. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do but let them move onto a new chapter in their life. However, if it’s a person who is a useful resource, then it’s time to act. Never promise a promotion because it puts you in a tricky spot, but you can encourage individuals to apply for future positions. Hopefully, they should get the hint. For the impatient people, all you can do is to try and appease them by offering better benefits. This may make it difficult for them to leave.

Poor Work/Life Balance

A cliché is that employees want as much money as possible. Although there is some truth in this statement, they aren’t one-hundred percent motivated by money. More than one-fifth of professionals are unhappy with their job because there isn’t a healthy enough balance between work and life. In short, they want to get out of the office more and see their family and enjoy their hobbies. At, they lay out the importance of investing in life outside of the workplace, not just for workers but employees, too. Usually, people are refreshed and re-energised when they walk into the office the morning after and that increases output. As it’s essential to success, it’s worth noting that it’s quite a simple issue to fix. Working from home is often the answer. Being able to complete tasks without a manager eyeing their every move is freeing and liberating. Plus, it’s flexible and helps them avoid playing politics with their peers. Other than that, businesses should avoid weekend work and prevent asking workers to do things outside of office hours.

Seven Reasons Behind Employee Unhappiness (& How To Fix It)


Yep, it is this simple for 18.7% of industry professionals. From a boss’s point of view, things need doing for the good of the company. And, this usually means that there will be a lot of boring and monotonous projects to complete. Sadly, the workforce has to grin and bear it, right? Maybe to you, but human beings think differently. As the monotony of their career starts to destroy their soul, they search for ways out. Not a problem is often the answer as it’s only a couple of people. However, plenty of businesses have found out that when one individual sets the tone, others will follow. Before long, the turnover rate can skyrocket as employees abandon ship for pastures new elsewhere. All of this happens as a result of being bored and the company not doing anything to improve people's’ fortunes. The worst thing about this is that it’s lazy from the viewpoint of the management team. To vary work isn’t an impossible task. Sure, it takes more planning than normal but it’s worth the hassle to keep everyone happy. has a list of eight solutions for bosses who want to maintain freshness and excitement within their workplace.

Horrible Bosses

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you may be the reason that 15% of people hate getting up in the morning. Some terrible men and women shouldn’t be in power because they abuse it for their gain. Granted, you are probably not one of these types. However, it doesn’t mean you aren’t implicit. By letting it happen, it’s a sign that you endorse this style of management. In fact, the company will see you as the person who is the main reason behind the toxic culture. You have the power to put things right yet you continue to let it happen. Hopefully, this isn’t the case and most individuals are on good terms with their superiors. Some people won’t be but that’s life because personalities clash. Still, if there are power-mad types in control, then it’s safe to say you need to watch how they operate. Demoting them is a huge step and one to tread lightly because of the implications of the move. However, you may be able to pull them to one side and speak about their methods. Once HR gets involved, there is nothing you can do but follow the company and national policies.

Seven Reasons Behind Employee Unhappiness (& How To Fix It)

Commute/Working Hours

In some places in the world, the commute is ridiculous. Take London as an example. A major megalopolis with fantastic transport links, the average time for work travel is 90 minutes. That’s three hours every day dedicated to sitting on a bus or a tube watching the world pass by. Add to this the fact that working hours are between 9-5 and 10-6, and certain employees won’t get home until 7-8pm at night. Usually, there is nothing to do but eat, sleep, rinse and repeat until the weekend. Working hours and commuting, then, are two big reasons for unhappiness in the workplace. Indeed, they account for 28% of the top ten reasons. There is an option which has already been mentioned, and it’s telecommuting. Working from home reduces the stress of commuting as well as the rigidity of traditional office hours. Many businesses see it as a risk yet it’s often a savvy hack for both parties. They get to be at home while working hard and you get to reduce expenses. If you own company cars or pay energy bills, you’ll understand.

Disliking Peers

In a perfect world, everyone would get along and there would be zero gossiping. The reality is different because humans are competitive and want to win. If this means walking over people while they are on the ground, then so be it. Normally, this attitude is toxic and too much for some people to bear. Everyone wants to be successful yet it does come at a price. Unfortunately, office politics are impossible to eradicate but you can stop the bullying. Make sure everyone understands the protocols if there are issues for starters. Plus, ensure there is someone victims feel they can talk too about personal problems. Remember this is helpful in other ways also because bullying isn’t the only thing that impacts life outside of the office.

Do any of these topics relate to your company?

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