How to Retain Unsatisfied Employees

Should You Retain Your Unsatisfied & Dissatisfied Workforce?

Unsatisfied employees can be easy to detect—you may notice a lack of productivity, enthusiasm, or low levels of engagement. Keeping your finger on the pulse of employee satisfaction is critical to retaining your best workers, but many companies fall short with these efforts.

When you’re constantly working from a managerial perspective, it can become difficult to stay in touch with the needs of your employees and to identify any gaps. But retaining unsatisfied employees doesn’t always have to mean offering a pay raise—often, keeping your best employees just means creating minor shifts in your company culture.

 Using Stay Interviews and a Recognition Culture

Check out these tips for retaining unsatisfied employees:

  • Interview existing employees. Much like conducting exit interviews, you should regularly conduct interviews with existing employees. Called stay interviews, manager meet with those employees who have been with your company for the longest time. Ask them what it is they like about the company, what makes them want to stay, why they decided to take a job at your organization, and if there’s anything that can be improved. Another option: distribute these questions in a survey or questionnaire to protect anonymity.
  • Focus on workplace recognition. Although you’d be hard-pressed to find an employee who doesn’t occasionally become discouraged at work, providing proper recognition on a regular basis can make workers more willing to get through those bumps in the road. Seize any opportunity to let your employees know their work has been done well, and find ways to provide regular, more formal recognition—take a star employee out to lunch once a month, or take a few minutes to recognize someone who’s been doing consistently good work at your weekly brainstorming meetings. Create a recognition culture at your workplace.
  • Create an environment where open feedback is welcome. Not allowing employees to express their concerns or share ideas can lead to an environment in which they bottle up their true feelings about certain situations or conditions. This can lead to outbursts or bigger problems later. Have an open-door policy in your office, or set up a system for employees to submit their concerns anonymously, which often allows for more honesty.
  • Be flexible! Working the 9-to-5 block day after day can add an element of monotony to anyone’s life. Offering employees more control and workplace flexibility over their schedule can help to boost their morale. If their work permits it, consider allowing employees a few “free days” each month to telecommute, or offer them the option to leave early on slower days if they finish their work on time.

Shift Your Company Culture & Improve Workplace Retention

Often, maintaining unsatisfied employees starts with shifting your company culture. Taking a more proactive approach to your retention efforts means you may not have to deal with dissatisfaction in your workplace in the first place.

What are some other tips you’d give to employers with unsatisfied employees? What are some steps you’ve taken in your own company to create a better company culture? Share your thoughts below!

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Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended.

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