How to Re-Engage a Dissatisfied Employee

Author Gordon Vannoni

Posted Feb 24, 2023

Reads 5K

Men Shaking Hands in the Office

In the world of business, b2b deals with unhappy employees can be a major pain point for employers. In fact, according to a survey conducted by an author who surveyed 5600 workers between January 2019 and December 2021, worker dissatisfaction started well before the pandemic turned our worlds upside down. The data revealed that retaining mid-career managers, those aged between 30 and 45 years old, spells trouble for many companies - with the average resignation rate in this age group being higher than others.

While bigger paychecks may seem like an obvious solution to employee knocks, it turns out that throwing money at unhappy employees isn't always effective. In fact, similar letters of resignation citing a lack of work-life balance find their way into HR departments every day. So what's the solution? How can employers move beyond conventional wisdom and re-engage dissatisfied employees effectively? This article explores a 7-step approach to help you retain your best workers while also improving your company's larger strategy.

One common managerial response to unhappy employees is telling them they should "crave work" or that it creates harmony when they're working hard on something they're passionate about. While this may be true for some individuals, it's important to remember that day-to-day job satisfaction makes a major impact on overall employee happiness. In order to truly re-engage dissatisfied employees, companies need to take a more holistic approach that looks at everything from the recruiting process to work-life alignment. Keep reading to learn how you can effectively re-engage your own unhappy employees - before they start waving goodbye with resignation letters in hand!

Unhappy employees can have a major impact on your company. Read on for a 7-step approach to dealing with unhappy employees effectively.

Unhappy employees can have a significant impact on your company's bottom line. When employees feel overworked, underpaid, or like they're struggling to balance their home life with their work life, it can lead to decreased productivity and increased turnover rates. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to deal with unhappy employees effectively.

Overworked adult female entrepreneur with papers in light modern office

The first step is to listen. Give your employees the opportunity to share their concerns and frustrations. This could involve scheduling one-on-one meetings or conducting employee surveys. By taking the time to understand what's causing your employees to feel unhappy, you'll be better equipped to address the root causes of their dissatisfaction.

Once you've identified the issues that are contributing to your employees' unhappiness, it's time to take action. This may involve adjusting workloads, increasing compensation, or offering more flexible schedules. Whatever changes you make should be tailored to the specific needs of your workforce and designed to improve overall job satisfaction. By taking a proactive approach to dealing with unhappy employees, you'll be able to create a more positive workplace culture and ultimately drive better business results.

Find out what drives them — and reshape their jobs together.­

One of the biggest deficits that many companies face is unhappy employees. When employees are unhappy, it can negatively impact their productivity and the company's work as a whole. To address this issue, it's essential to find out what drives your employees and reshape their jobs together.

To start, focus on building strong employee relationships and team organization. Take the time to get to know your employees on a personal level, understanding their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you tailor their job responsibilities to fit their skill sets and interests, which can surprise excite them in their daily and weekly tasks. Additionally, set quarterly goals with each employee that align with overall company objectives. By establishing a direct line of communication between you and your employees, they will feel valued and invested in the success of the company.

Emphasize the Importance of the Big Picture in Your Work

When dealing with unhappy employees, it's important to remember that workers aged 25 to 45 felt most disconnected from their day-to-day tasks. By elevating their understanding of larger strategic imperatives, team members can gain a renewed dedication and increased investment in their work matters. Simply passing along direct lines of quarterly work updates can create work environments where team-building behaviors are encouraged.

By highlighting the big pictures and larger organizational imperatives, you give notice they'll be held accountable for more than just day-to-day weekly monthly minutiae. This sense of agency re-engaging often results in elevated energy and renewed focus on long-term goals. As a result, you'll see an increase in productivity and job satisfaction among your employees.

Don't hesitate to buy copies of books or articles that speak to this phenomenon; giving people access to thought leaders' ideas on this topic is one way to inspire them. Ultimately, by emphasizing the importance of the big picture in your work and encouraging your team members to think beyond their immediate tasks, you're creating a work environment that values growth and development over stagnation and resignation offers.

Aim for work-life alignment, not work-life balance.

Work-life balance has become a buzzword in the corporate world, but it's time to shift our focus to work-life alignment. The concept of work-life balance implies that there is a perfect equilibrium between the two, which is difficult to achieve for most employees. According to a recent study conducted on B2B companies dealing with unhappy employees, respondents in the 45 age range struggle the most with achieving an ephemeral work-life balance due to personal responsibilities such as children taking care and aging parents attending networking events.


Instead of striving for an unattainable balance, workers should aim for work-life alignment. This means integrating their personal and professional lives in a way that allows them to thrive in all areas. For instance, many respondents wanted their employers to support them in attending professional development conferences, serving on school committees or volunteering at community nonprofits as part of their daily routine without having to feel guilty or sacrificing career advancement.

In fact, research has shown that workers gain more satisfaction from pursuing side hustles or passion projects outside of work than they do from trying to maintain a strict work-life balance. By seeking nurture on a daily basis and aligning their work with personal goals and values, employees can experience higher numbers of fulfillment and productivity compared to their male counterparts who prioritize traditional career advancement over self-care pain points. As businesses continue rapid expansion, they must recognize that supporting employee's personal needs will ultimately lead to better outcomes both professionally and personally.

Why are employees unhappy?

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a tough couple of years for many industries and their employees. Lockdowns, remote work, and layoffs have visibly affected the workforce. However, underlying job dissatisfaction may also be contributing to the "Great Resignation." People are assessing their professional options and voluntary resignations are on the rise.

Overworked adult female entrepreneur with papers in light modern office

A recent Pew survey found that the top reasons people left their jobs included poor pay, lack of career advancement, feeling disrespected, and overall discontent. Other factors that contribute to feeling unhappy with one's job include work-life balance issues in hybrid work models that blur the line between home life and work life. Childcare issues, health insurance, paid leave policies, and office tension can all contribute to an employee's dissatisfaction.

Retaining employee talent is crucial for maintaining optimal organizational efficiency. Unhappy employees can negatively impact productivity and morale within a company. Therefore, it is important for businesses to address these issues head-on through open communication channels with their staff, implementing policies that address work-life balance concerns and offering competitive benefits packages that meet employees' needs. By doing so, businesses can maintain a happy workforce while attracting new talent to grow their organization further.

“What’s the best way for customer service / experience managers to handle a disgruntled employee?”

The best way for customer service and customer experience managers to handle a disgruntled employee is to address their concerns in a calm and professional manner. It's important to listen to their grievances, acknowledge their feelings, and work together to find a solution that satisfies both parties. Managers should also provide ongoing support and coaching to help the employee improve their performance and ensure future success in the company. Ultimately, creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued and heard is key to reducing the likelihood of unhappy employees in the first place.

Key Indicators of Unhappy Workers

Unhappy employees can cause real damage to a company's bottom line, and it's important for managers to be able to identify the key indicators of an unhappy staff member. Inadvertent behavior such as chronic lateness, regularly complaining or expressing grievances, and just doing the bare minimum required by the job are all signs that an employee is unhappy.

One of the most obvious signs of an unhappy worker is chronic lateness. When someone consistently shows up late for work or meetings without a valid excuse, it's usually a sign that they're not happy with their job or the company. Another common indicator is when an employee regularly complains or expresses grievances about their work conditions or colleagues. This behavior often indicates that they're feeling frustrated and unsupported in their role.

Managers should also pay attention to any feedback they receive from customers, business partners, or other team members about one of their employees. If they're receiving complaints about an employee's performance or attitude, it may be time to have a conversation with them about their happiness at work. Ultimately, addressing employee dissatisfaction early on is crucial to preventing turnover and maintaining a positive workplace culture.

Tips for Boosting Employee Happiness at Work

Let's face it, unhappy employees can be detrimental to the success of any business. When an employee decides that they are no longer satisfied with their job, it can lead to a decrease in productivity and morale. Luckily, there are many things that companies can do to boost employee happiness and improve overall employee satisfaction.

One of the most important things that represent employee satisfaction is feeling valued, respected, and trusted within the company culture. By offering incentives such as flexible schedules or work-from-home options, companies can show their employees that they are valued members of the team. Additionally, creating a positive work environment by encouraging open communication and fostering a sense of community can go a long way towards improving the happiness of unhappy employees.

The Negative Impact of Unhappy Employees on Business Success

When employees aren't happy, it can become a unique problem for businesses. In fact, Gallup's 2021 State of the Global Workplace report found that only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their work. This means that approximately 5 employees out of every 6 are disengaged, and this can be a costly problem for businesses. Disengaged employees affect productivity, making it difficult to meet critical goals and missing essential deadlines.

Unhappy employees not only affect productivity but also damage the company's reputation. This can have far-reaching effects on clients, business associates, and prospective employees. Studies have shown that disengaged employees cost companies money as they are less likely to exceed expectations or go above and beyond what is expected of them. It is crucial, therefore, for businesses to support unhappy employees by creating an environment that nurtures employee engagement and well-being.

If left unaddressed, unhappy employees can cause long-term damage to a company's success. By supporting unhappy employees with tools and resources to improve employee engagement and well-being, businesses can create a positive cycle of success that benefits everyone involved. It's time for businesses to take action to support their workforce if they want to succeed in today's competitive marketplace.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you deal with disengaged employees?

To deal with disengaged employees, try to understand the root cause of their disengagement, provide opportunities for growth and development, and regularly communicate expectations and feedback. Additionally, consider offering incentives or rewards for increased engagement.

How can leaders re-engage workers?

Leaders can re-engage workers by fostering an open and inclusive work culture, providing opportunities for growth and development, recognizing and rewarding their contributions, and communicating clearly and regularly with them.

Are you happy if your boss handles problematic coworkers?

Yes, it is a relief when your boss addresses problematic coworkers as it creates a more productive and positive work environment.

How to deal with a disgruntled employee?

Address the issue directly and calmly, listen to their concerns, offer solutions or compromises, and document any incidents. It may also be helpful to involve HR or a mediator in resolving the situation.

What happens if your EMPLOYEES are disengaged after the first year?

Disengaged employees can lead to decreased productivity, low morale, and high turnover rates, resulting in negative impacts on the overall success of the company. It is important for employers to address the root causes of disengagement and implement strategies to re-engage their employees.

Gordon Vannoni

Gordon Vannoni

Writer at English Quest

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Gordon Vannoni is an experienced blogger who writes on a variety of topics, including lifestyle, technology, and finance. His work has been featured in numerous publications, and he is frequently sought after for his expertise in these areas. A creative thinker with a passion for writing, Gordon has a knack for crafting compelling stories that resonate with readers.

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