As an entrepreneur, you have a lot of responsibilities. You have to come up with new ideas, lay the foundation for the business, make executive decisions and set an example as the leader of the organization (not to mention attend to your regular responsibilities, like sales and marketing). Happy employees are productive employees. Employee happiness is about more than just making your people feel good. When workers are more satisfied, they’re more productive, which means you’ll be able to do more as an organization.
On top of that, satisfied workers are less likely to leave your organization, which means retention will increase and you’ll spend less time recruiting and training new candidates to replace them. Beyond the obvious If an employee openly complains about being unhappy, there’s no ambiguity to hash out; you know what he or she is feeling because you’ve been told. But, unfortunately, things aren’t always this clear. Instead, you’ll need to watch out for the following more subtle signs that your employees are unhappy:
- 1 – Reaching for only the minimum If you want to succeed as a business, you need to exceed expectations not just meet them and your employees should strive for that mentality as well. If you notice them starting to meet only the bare minimum goals, that could be a sign that they no longer care about their work. If they’re genuinely struggling, they even may fall behind these “minimum” goals, at which point you can intervene with different options. But meeting exactly the minimum is a sign of disinterest, and maybe even apathy.
- 2 – Clock-watching No matter how cool your job is, almost everyone gets excited about lunch breaks and quitting time at the end of the day. That’s not a problem, nor is it a sign of employee unhappiness. Instead, the sign of unhappiness to watch for here is “clock-watching,” or obsessing over the time in a bid to get done with work as soon as possible. When employees start counting down the minutes at 3 p.m., that’s a sign they’re unhappy with their work. Related Book: No B.S. Ruthless Management of People and Profits by Dan S. Kennedy
- 3 – Limited personal engagement As an entrepreneur, you’ll likely feel somewhat isolated , but if your workers start closing themselves off, that’s a sign that something is wrong. Ideally, your team will be tight-knit and connected with one another on an almost personal level. That isn’t always possible, but light chatter and humor are signs that things are running smoothly. If your office is eerily quiet, or if you never see your workers talking to one another, they could signal dissatisfaction.
- 4 – A lack of new ideas or feedback Engaged, happy employees are passionate about their work, and they go out of their way to make their work even better. They freely come up with new ideas for their own roles, and sometimes for the entire organization, and they aren’t afraid to take or receive feedback. If you don’t hear anything from your workers along these lines, it could be a sign of disengagement and unhappiness.
- 5 – Secrecy or lack of transparency One of the best ways to build trust in a team is to showcase transparency and not keep secrets ; do this as a leader, and your employees will likely follow suit. If you notice your employees talking behind your back, or refusing to tell you about problems they’re facing, however, that could mean that they are unsatisfied in their work environment.