At some point, all organizations have to deal with the problem of miserable employees. Misery seems to be an unavoidable part of the human condition, wreaking havoc throughout the business world. As employers, we have to deal with rage, depression and general malaise in the workplace. It can all become a bit too much.

The problem with misery in the workplace is that it can often strip your company of its star performers. When the best people become unhappy, you wind up losing out, big time.

The good news is that there is a lot you can do about disgruntled employees. But you’ll have to delve into the roots of the problem. Here’s how. 

Allow For Time Off

Sometimes employee unhappiness is driven by the number of hours that employees have to work. It’s not uncommon for people to work 16 hours a day, six or seven days a week on a big company project. Sure, most people can keep that sort of thing up for a couple of weeks according to But after a while, a grueling work schedule can take its toll on even the most enthusiastic employees.

One of the best ways to get around this particular problem is to give employees extra days off after the completion of a project. This gives them something to hold on to and work towards as they plow through hour after hour of work. Just be sure that extra time off doesn’t become an expected part of your company culture.

Listen To What Employees Have To Say

As an owner or manager, you aren’t always able to listen to every idea or opinion of everybody in your organization. But it’s important that employees feel like they have a voice nonetheless. This is where things like suggestion boxes become so important. Employee suggestion boxes allow employees to anonymously communicate their grievances. It’s an outlet that makes them feel as if they have some agency in your organization.

In today’s digital world, you’re not restricted to a physical suggestion box, with all its many inconveniences. Web sites like show off new digital versions of this age-old office staple. Just be sure that you respond to the suggestions that your make, even if the answer is “no.” More often than not being heard is more important to staff than getting their way.

Dole Out More Challenging Work

Some employees live in a permanent state of malaise and low productivity. Others, however, want to break out of their regular boring grind and take on more challenging work. Many of your employees right now are probably working on projects that aren’t really aligned with their skillsets. As a result, they’ll find the work boring, and this can ultimately bring them down. Often you’ll notice a big jump in productivity by shifting them onto projects that match their skills. Suddenly they become more interested and more engaged in what they’re doing.

Being a great leader in business requires keeping positive, despite all the problems that come up. It’s your job to communicate your infectious energy to others and inspire them to achieve your business goals.

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