Managing a Disgruntled Employee

Even in companies with positive cultures, it’s possible for employees to become upset by events throughout the day or in their personal life. As a leader in your company, it’s crucial to know how to identify and handle disgruntled employees to avoid negative impacts on your organization.

What Is a Disgruntled Employee?

A disgruntled employee is a team member who feels dissatisfied with their employer, team or responsibilities, leading to a decline in their work. Sometimes a single event can lead to a disgruntled employee. Other times, a series of circumstances can increase dissatisfaction.

The way an employee shows their displeasure may vary depending on their communication style, personality and authority level. What is a disgruntled employee? Look out for these common signs that an employee feels disgruntled:

  • Poor attitude
  • Negative comments from other employees
  • Tardiness
  • Excessive absences
  • Lack of motivation
  • Poor performance

How to Handle a Disgruntled Employee

tips on how to handle a disgruntled employee

As a supervisor, it’s vital to intervene to mitigate the risks a disgruntled employee can bring to an organization. For example, if an employee becomes dissatisfied because they feel they are not receiving accurate compensation, they may put minimal effort into their work or decide to pursue other opportunities. Learning how to communicate effectively can aid in correcting the issue and avoiding the loss of the employee.

Explore some additional tips for managing disgruntled employees:

  • Act promptly: The longer your employee is unhappy with your company, the more significant the negative impact will be. By identifying the issue as soon as possible, you can take action to resolve the situation.
  • Listen attentively: The first step in resolving any problem is to listen to your employee’s concerns. When you approach conflict resolution honestly and professionally, employees are more likely to communicate and work with you to develop a solution.
  • Handle the issue privately: The best way to handle any employee issue is to do so in the privacy of your or your employee’s office to demonstrate that you respect and trust their opinion.
  • Offer training: There’s no singular definition of a disgruntled employee. Dissatisfaction can sometimes result from an employee needing more knowledge and experience to perform their job. If this is the case, you can offer training to help them feel more qualified and confident.

Enhance Your Leadership Skills With The Center for Leadership Studies

If you’re looking for new ways to connect with your employees, The Center for Leadership Studies can help. Our personalized courses use the Situational Leadership® Method to help leaders learn how to drive employee engagement to improve results in the workplace. Complete our online contact form to learn more!