How to turn disgruntled employees into a happy workforce

The UK is currently experiencing a worrying drop in job satisfaction according to a survey by the CIPD, which shows that it is at its lowest level for more than two years. With this in mind, it is worthwhile for business owners to ask the following question: are disgruntled employees hurting your business?

To answer the question, it is worth considering what actually could be hurting performance, such as time wasted, hurt feelings, high stress levels, unclear goals, juxtaposed priorities, ambiguous strategies and conflicting processes. These points are the make-up of an ineffective team.

In addition to the above, if employees are unclear on the role they play in a team and do not speak out for fear of conflict, talent can often go unheard. To give your teams a competitive edge, they need to support and value every type of thinking and personality so as not miss out on a new opportunities and ideas.

Transforming disgruntled employees into happy staff

Your first action should be to increase the happiness and bond of your workforce. You can start this process yourself without using external experts. Below is a list of exercises and change you should consider:

(1) Run a team building workshop

Run a selection of team building workshops off-site to avoid unnecessary distractions. During this workshop, consider exercises such as the ‘needs and offers’ exercise, which is an excellent way for people to understand the importance of give and take.

For more inspiration, take advantage of activities created by companies such as Metalog, MTa and RSVP rather than spending time developing your own.

(2 Give your workforce the chance to have fun

Invoking positive emotions within your workforce can lead to extremely strong bonds. Consider playing cheap and easy to setup office games. Kit Out My Office have produced an online selection of office games that you can use.

(3) Look at your wider business practices

Many businesses offer development and reward schemes for individuals but not for teams. Consider adding incentives based on team activity or performance as this is a tried and tested method for building trust and engagement within a team.

Julia Claxton, PhD, MSc, SF.HEA is the principal lecturer in leadership and organisational development at Leeds Beckett University.

image: Shutterstock

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