According to a survey conducted by Randstad Work monitor in the fourth quarter of 2019, Indians were the most satisfied workers and the Japanese, the least satisfied. The survey further revealed that Japanese employees were not only the least satisfied, they were also the least likely to receive salary increase or a bonus for work done by the end of the year. Dealing with unhappy employees is becoming less of an option and more of a priority at the workplace. While happy employees tend to be more creative, innovative and dedicated to the job, unhappy employees can have a significant impact on your bottom line.

Employees are often referred to as the backbone of any organization, therefore their wellbeing is very important to the success of the organization. The following are some benefits of keeping employees happy in an organization:

  1. Happy Employees create a positive work environment: When employees are genuinely happy and motivated about their jobs, they create a great working atmosphere which in turn positively impacts their productivity.
  2. Happy employees positively impact clients and customers: A happy employee will go above and beyond to satisfy their clients; both internal and external.
  3. Happy employees are instrumental to business growth; According to Gallup, organisations with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%.

Maintaining happiness at the workplace is not achieved overnight; first you need to identify and understand the cause of your employees’ unhappiness and find ways to resolve them. Below are some causes of employee unhappiness and how both employees and management can work together to keep employees happy which in turn will create a stress-free work environment and maximize productivity.


  • Lack of Job security

Lack of job security refers not only to the threat of dismissal, but also concern about the future of the job. Experiencing job insecurity can cause unhappiness to the employee which can result in low performance in their work.

Employers are responsible for the safety of employees as far as their jobs are concerned. To create a sense of job security, employers can ensure that there are open lines of communication between management and employees, employee feedback should also be taken into consideration. Employees experiencing job insecurity can also be asked to handle very important tasks. This may motivate them and create a sense of security. To remain indispensable at the workplace, employees can also increase their level of productivity and continuously learn to upgrade their skills.

  • Poor Remuneration

Investopedia defines remuneration as an employee’s total compensation, including base salary, bonuses, expense account, reimbursements, and other financial benefits. When the salary scale remains constant in a working environment as the years go by, employees tend to become unhappy. The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School conducted a survey involving 33, 000 participants on how they felt day-to-day and how satisfied they were in life overall. 

The survey studied both experienced (emotional, in-the-moment happiness) and evaluative (overall life satisfaction) well-being in relation to income. Findings from the survey showed that all forms of well-being continued to rise with income, indicating that people tend to feel happier the more money they make. Organizations with employees who are satisfied with their wages or salaries are highly motivated to deliver good results.

On a personal level, employees who are currently unsatisfied with their salaries can ask management for salary increment. Employees can also consider side businesses and gigs to generate more income. Management should also endeavor to review employee salaries every year, taking into consideration the employees’ performance the previous year, the current cost of living, etc.

  • Lack of Support

Support at the workplace can range from constructive feedback to a general nasty attitude from colleagues. Employees lack the zeal to work when they lack support at the workplace. Research shows that when workplaces lack vital support and resources, they can develop higher stress levels.

To promote a culture of support in the workplace, managers can implement innovations to facilitate the development of their team. Managers can also foster unity by organizing frequent employee engagement programmes and resolving conflicts in the workplace as soon as possible. On a personal level, employees can show support for each other by avoiding unhealthy competitions and conversations and respecting one another’s views and opinion.

  • Lack of Recognition

 Even though employees are paid for the work they do, when they are not recognized or given credit for a good work performance, they feel left out of the team or unvalued. Lack of recognition can diminish team spirit which could decrease performance in the organization. “There’s nothing worse than feeling unseen and unheard in the workplace,” says Anne Mckee, author of How to Be Happy at Work. Employees’ spirits tend to be lifted when they are acknowledged for the good work they do.

On a personal level, employees should endeavor to not always wait for recognition or appreciation from their leaders for a good job done. Once you know you have done a good job, you can go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. Managers should also prioritize acknowledging and appreciating their employees when they perform well on tasks.

 In conclusion, the growth of a business or organization is dependent on the happiness of its employees. Management and employees should therefore endeavor to put into practice the recommendations discussed above to boost employee happiness at the workplace.



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