Department managers have their plates full on a daily basis ensuring all operations are going well. They have a tremendously long list of to-do’s; The most essential one among all is managing his or her staff, and making sure they are happy and performing at their best. The truth is that the latter, gets overlooked quite often.

Filipinos, by nature, are happy and fun-loving people. On a report published by Job Street last year, Filipino employees garnered 6.25 points on job satisfaction rate, which bested all of the six other Asian countries.

However, the presence of employees who feel “quite happy” or “absolutely unhappy” is something that needs to be corrected.

Unhappy workers mean lost productivity that ultimately translates to cost. In the U.S., for instance, a published infographic estimated that $550 billion a year is lost due to costs linked to lost employee productivity like turnover, dissatisfaction, and poor workplace culture.

Spotting an unhappy employee is no herculean task. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

  1. Not pushing the limits

A happy employee is a dreamer of success, that’s why they always feel the need to exceed expectations for career growth. If you notice a significant drop in their performance such that they only strive to reach minimum goals, it may be time to notify them.

If the drive to push past their limits is lost, not only are their careers hampered, but also the business’ success.

  1. Recurring absences for minor ailments

A simple case of the sniffles can’t slow down a determined employee.

If absences keep on piling up for almost the same, simple reasons, it’s obviously a sign of unhappiness attributed to the unwillingness to go the extra mile. Remind the employee about the number of allowed absences, and see to it that your goals are aligned.

  1. Little initiative to communicate

Communication is everything in the workplace. If your once eager employee becomes reluctant in sharing new ideas or prefer to keep quiet in the meeting room, something might be up.

You can also spot an unhappy employee through informal office communication. The ideal situation is to see your team exchanging light chit-chats and humor, some even bonded on a personal level. But if you see them closing their doors from one another or trying to distance themselves from you, it might be time to reflect on your own leadership or how things are running within your team.

  1. Non-verbal cues

Sometimes all you need to do is observe. Do they frequently clock-watch or count down minutes before the end of the shift? Are their body postures curved all the time?

To a happy employee, work time flies naturally. However, the unhappy one loathe almost every single minute of it.

On the bright side, the following actionable tips may help employees find more joy and motivation in their work:

  •         Set clear goals, milestones, and directions

This can be achieved through constant group or one-on-one meetings. Employees function better when they achieve a sense of accomplishment by fulfilling certain tasks and conditions. An unstructured workplace, meanwhile, often causes lofty goals to be set by employees themselves.

  •         Make an effort to know employees on an individual level

Employees will feel valued if you make a genuine effort to know their individual stories, attributes, and differences. Would it hurt to spend some lunch or dinner to get to know them more?

  •         Make the workplace more conducive to work

The office arrangement is something that should be efficient. The inclusion of green plants also helps in reducing stress at work since employees feel a connection with nature. Do your employees have healthy food choices? Do they have access to entertainment rooms such as a small lounge?

  •         Give them breathing spaces

An employee shouldn’t feel like their necks are on the line when they fail a task. Provide reasonable room for mistakes and always balance negative with positive reinforcement.


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