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Top 10 Reasons for Job Dissatisfaction (and How to Combat Them)

written by: •edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 6/1/2011

If you employ even one person, you will hear a complaint from time to time. What are the top 10 reasons for job dissatisfaction, and what can you do to turn them into positives? Jean Scheid, a business owner, offers examples and solutions.

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    All for One!

    Unfortunately, no workplace is like the legendary Three Musketeers, where everyone is all for one and one for all! But as an employer, you probably already know that. What you may not know are the top 10 reasons for job dissatisfaction and how to combat them! Below, you’ll find top examples and some creative solutions.

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    1. My Pay Is Too Low!

    I Need More Money This has to be number 1 on the job dissatisfaction scale, and you can bet the farm that employees talk about how much they do get paid with one another. Everyone wants more money in their paycheck, however, if an employee find outs a co-worker makes a higher wage, they want the same.

    This is the also the top problem to tackle when it comes to unhappy employees. If you’re bombarded with workers that want more money, explain the company policy on performance reviews and annual increases - make sure this information is included when creating an employee handbook. For those who must tell everyone how much they make, talk to them alone and explain how their “openness" is harmful.

    Image Credit (FreeDigitalPhotos)

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    2. I Do It All!

    This is another top reason for job dissatisfaction and often it’s true. You know that one employee you trust with your life—if you think about it, you probably do load them up with work because you know they’ll get the job done. These people, however, rarely complain—but do keep them in mind, that it’s nice to lighten the load once in a while. Then there are those who just “think" they do it all, when actually all they do is complain.

    Combat this problem by asking the employee to make a list of tasks they do each day, or are responsible for, while you make the same list. Most likely, the employee’s list will be longer, but may contain the same task worded in a different way. Talk to the employee about what their job entails and to stop these situations from starting, write effective job descriptions.

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    3. We Have No Benefits!

    No Benefits Unfortunately, many small to mid-sized employers, can’t afford healthcare, dental, or even retirement benefits, and your employees will remind you of this often.

    If you can’t afford to implement any sort of employee benefit program, consider annual stipends to help them pay for their own, or other employee incentives that will make them happy; there are many unique employee benefits that improve retention , that you can afford if you consider some creative options.

    Image Credit (FreeDigitalPhotos)

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    4. I’m Always Working!

    While overtime has been cut in some offices, in others, ethical issues concerning downsizing, means more work for the workers you retain.

    Analyze how many hours your employees are really putting in—are they working too much? Do you work as much as they do? Consider their feelings and lifestyles ,and find a way to cut down on the work hours. You’ll have better productivity if you have freshly rested workers.

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    5. I Never Get Overtime

    Overtime On the other side of that coin are those who simply depend on overtime wages to survive. Most likely, you’ll have the workers who want it and those who don’t. Because you have a blend, offer overtime to those who do want it—they’ll be productive because of the extra dollars they’ll receive. You also need to be aware of overtime labor laws, when allotting overtime hours.

    Image Credit (FreeDigitalPhotos)

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    6. I Can’t Work With Her!

    Unhappy Coworkers You may think you hired adults with mature attitudes but working side by side, every day, can make for some arguments from time to time. Sometimes a co-worker may fall in the workplace bully category or worse—the sexual harassment category.

    These issues must be dealt with right way or you’ll have more to worry about than reasons for job dissatisfaction. Find ways to separate those who don’t work well together, even if it means spending money on a partition or finding another space. For those who truly are troublemakers, you need to follow your policies and procedures and let them know in a written warning—if they don’t improve, replace them.

    Image Credit (FreeDigitalPhotos)

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    7. I Hate My Boss!

    This could mean you or a supervisor! If you hear through the grapevine what your employees are saying about you and it’s not good, it’s time to revisit your own work attitude and leadership style. If you’re autocratic, or of the “it’s my way or the highway" type, you need to change or you’ll lose employees. If it’s a supervisor, observe them closely and help them improve through personal counseling sessions or outside training or seminars.

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    8. What Am I Supposed to Do?

    What's My Job Believe it or not, many employers hire people and stick them right into jobs they don’t understand. On top of that, it’s expected these employees do well without training. If you hire the untrained, don’t expect them to be happy—you need to teach them, provide training or an employee mentorship program.

    Image Credit (FreeDigitalPhotos)

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    9. What Are Our Goals?

    Do your employees understand the company’s mission or vision or do you just dictate what should be done? A happy workplace means everyone understands his or her job, what is expected, and what they are aiming to achieve—as a unit. Have regular employee meetings and allow for input from your employees.

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    10. I Feel Like I’m In Jail!

    Is Your Office Like a Jail Number 10 on our top ten reasons for job dissatisfaction is the too-strict work environment. Today’s workforce is diverse and offers generational challenges as well. If you’re an employee who has set bathroom breaks, expect your employees to feel like they’re being watched and in a prison-like workplace.

    Handle this dissatisfaction by asking your employees to offer up some suggestions through chosen leaders. Expect some of the ridiculous but if you’re that tough of a boss, you’ll be surprised and start implementing suggested changes right away—especially if you want to keep your staff.

    There are many reasons why employees may be dissatisfied with their jobs, and not all of them fall on this list. However, as the company owner, you need to be aware that some of the items on this list can be easily fixed and if ignored, could spell disaster.

    Image Credit (FreeDigitalPhotos)