Policies and Procedures

How to Address Unhappiness at Work

Why are my employees unhappy?

Private workplace strikes are at a 20 year high according to statistics from the ONS. High profile examples over the past 3 years in the UK are Asda, schools and around 60 universities, United Utilities, McDonalds, various airlines and other travel companies.

If you are running a small to medium enterprise, it is unlikely you will experience a formal strike – however you could be at risk of industrial action from any trade unions that your staff are members of as well as losing resources and significant costs on staff resignations. A satisfied and therefore productive workplace is a key factor in success for SME’s. The private sector is now particularly at risk of losing skilled workers due to grievances with their company, whether these are articulated by the staff or not.

Causes of job dissatisfaction

The main factors for employee dissatisfaction are:

  • Pay and future earnings
  • Work conditions
  • Security
  • Pensions
  • Work Hours
  • Poor management
  • Lack of career progressions opportunities
  • Unclear in their roles
  • Taking on too much work

Impact of dissatisfied employees on the workplace

If you aren’t managing the points above then you are going to spend more time and effort filling recruitment gaps and retraining than you should. Another fallout is your company reputation. Word spreads fast through local workforces and everybody knows a company that has a reputation for not treating it’s staff well. From this come recruitment and reputational damages that can be very hard and costly to rectify.

How can we ensure staff are happy in the workplace?

It’s not all about the benefits – employees want security and clear pathways to progression, better work life balance and incremental and clear increases in wages that are inline with the cost of living. It goes without saying that most employees are not working for job satisfaction, but for income. Managing financial expectations in contracts and the staff handbook as well as face to face is key in ensuring staff are informed and satisfied. Often employees are not aware of the correct procedure in bringing their grievances to the management’s attention. In a lot of cases complaints are not brought out into the open and the only time employees will hear about the – if they are lucky – is in the exit interviews. You can’t manage staff morale though policies and procedures alone – however giving people the tools and pathways to express their concerns and get them resolved is the first step in a happy and productive workforce. If you would like assistance in writing your Human Resources policies, please contact us.


Office: 01244 342 618

Mobile Numbers

Joanne: 07764 258 001
Shaun:   07908 688 170