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3 Warning Signs and Ways to Deal With Disgruntled Employees

Disgruntled employees usually give poor service, and thereby damage the company’s reputation. They are responsible for a negative working environment which spreads through the company causing morale to decrease rapidly. Sometimes disgruntled employees can even be prone to theft or vindictive behaviour.

Toxic staff can be likened to the proverb “one bad apple spoils the barrel.” They are deeply unsatisfied and unhappy with their work experience and tend to influence everyone around them.  It is important to stay alert and detect early warning signs to identify disgruntled employees before they become a deadly poison, slowly destroying the company.

3 Warning signs to detecting a disgruntled employee:

1.  Employees who are demotivated and show a lack of commitment

Some employees are so dissatisfied, disappointed and frustrated in their job because they might feel as though they are not progressing?  They might have personal problems and conflicts that influence their daily operations. Whatever the reason for demotivation and a lack of commitment, when employees are not enjoying tasks, ultimately their performance and productivity suffers.

2. Go slow-mode

Early warning signs of employees no longer interested in their work or in being with your company:

  • Excessive and extended breaks
  • Arriving late to work
  • Constantly ‘sick’

Finding excuses to no longer work and general dissatisfaction in the work place leads to unproductive employees.

3. Excluded and uncooperative

Employees in leadership positions have a great responsibility toward those they lead. You might find that often times Managers or Team Leaders don’t work well together with their assigned team. Strong leadership personalities might lead to certain employees feeling inferior, bullied or excluded and thus leading to an unhappy employee. Research has shown that employees, who are being bullied or witness this in the workplace, are all likely to feel angry and frustrated both in the workplace and towards their employer.

Prevention is better than the cure. If you are on top of these warning signs you are more likely to keep situations like strikes at bay.

3 quick and effective ways to handle and deal with disgruntled-employees:

1. Combine professional behaviour with emotional intelligence

Remain professional and refrain from yelling, swearing and using frustrated voice tones. Don’t take it personally. They are usually either upset with someone else or with the situation itself. The best advice would be to handle disgruntled workers with the proper emotional intelligence. Be considerate of frustrated employees’ feelings. During difficult conversations, show them empathy and compassion. Honesty is the best policy and address their issues immediately while bearing an open mind. Make sure employees feel heard and understood by giving them the necessary support. 

2. Address the issue immediately but privately

Don’t let it linger. Discuss the disgruntled employee’s issues in private. Failing to do this can start rumours and damage other employees’ thoughts and attitudes. Make sure that after you have addressed the issue, you communicate that the issues have been resolved to all involved parties.

3. Keep a record

Have the most efficient and appropriate person deal with the situation. In case of future lawsuits or strikes, keep record and have a reliable objective witness.

Handling difficult employees and situations depend on your skills in communication, emotional intelligence and attitude towards it.

The Mindspa Institute has various courses that can equip you with, and enhance your skills to deal with these types of issues effectively and efficiently.