The Telltale Signs Of An Unhappy Employee

So, how happy are your employees? 

Do they whistle as they work, welcome you with a cheery smile, and go above and beyond what you ask of them? 

Or could it be that you have unhappy employees on your hands? 

Hopefully, it’s the former, but if any of the following signs relate to the employees in your workplace, then they might not be very happy at all. 

The signs of an unhappy employee 

Low productivity
When employees have high morale, they will typically work harder for their employers. However, if you have noticed a downturn in productivity, then unhappiness may be the cause. It might be that they don’t care about the work they have to do, or the unhappiness they feel could be reflective of their overall levels of stress, and so their performance might be affected as a result. 

Extended break times
A happy employee will enjoy the work they have to do, and might even skip over their break times because they are passionate about what they are doing. On the other hand, an unhappy employee will take longer breaks than they should, as the thought of getting back to work will be unappealing to them. You might also have employees who turn up for work late in the day or leave for home early, as with that ‘anywhere but here’ mentality, the less time they spend working, the better! 

Whispered complaints
Those hidden whisperings in the corner of the break room could be about something that isn’t work-related. On the other hand, if you notice your employees looking at you when they’re whispering, or if you hear anything that is clearly related to your workplace, then you need to take heed. Whispered complaints can quickly spread, as when an unhappy worker talks about their feelings, there might soon be motions of solidarity from other employees. 

Complaining customers
When an employee is unhappy, the quality of their work is going to suffer. As a result, you might see a rise in complaints from your clients or customers. It might be that your customer-service employees perform poorly too, as if their feelings are reflective of their attitudes, you are bound to see a rise in complaints from your customers. This will be bad news for your business, as not only will you see a drop in existing customers as a consequence, but you will also lose prospective customers when the word gets around online about your business. 

Obvious signs of unhappiness
While you can make educated guesses that your employees are unhappy, it might be that it’s clear from how they appear on a daily basis that something isn’t right within them. Hunched shoulders, furrowed brows, sensitive outbursts, and a tendency to cry are obvious signs that your employees aren’t happy. 

What to do?
As an employer, it’s your duty to both improve the morale of your employees and reduce downtime in your business. The two go hand-in-hand, so take the necessary steps. 

Through 1:1 and group meetings, employee engagement surveys, and break room conversations, you will be able to learn more. When you discover the source of your employees’ unhappiness, you can then take the relevant next steps. We don’t know what these might be in your business, but you will be able to research what to do when you are able to pinpoint the struggles your employees are having. 

By taking action, the morale of your employees will improve, and in line with this, so will the happiness of your customers and your own morale when your business starts to make a profit. 


This is a contributed post