Have you ever had a job you really hated?
If we know that working a terrible job is both common and terrible for you, what are the warning signs that your employees or co-workers are falling into this category? For that matter, what are the warning signs that you yourself won't be able to stick around work much longer?
I asked S. Chris Edmonds, the CEO of Purposeful Culture Group and author of The Culture Engine, for his take on the early signs that employees or co-workers are slipping into the "hate their job" category. Check out what he says below--and don't forget to download the free bonus content, 9 Things Great Leaders Say Every Day (infographic).
How engaged, inspired, productive, and happy are your employees?
Gallup finds that nearly 70 percent of employees are not engaged. Tiny HR discovered that 79 percent of employees do not feel strongly valued at work. So, if your organization is like most, your employees are not having a good time.
Here are 10 warning signs. If you have an employee demonstrating seven or more of these characteristics, you've got a majorly unhappy player on your hands.
1. They barely do the minimum.
Unhappy employees don't extend themselves. They aren't concerned with breaking sales records or completing projects ahead of schedule. They master the art of looking busy but contributing very little. They're going through the motions--on your dime.
2. They're quick to complain.
You know the kinds of things you hear: "Why does finance always ask for detailed reports at the end of the day? I have to stay late to get this to them." "I could make more money at a company down the street." Unhappy employees always see the worst parts of their situation and are quick to tell others about how awful it is.
3. They make more mistakes.
Since they're not fully applying themselves, which minimizes their contributions, unhappy employees make mistakes more frequently than do happy employees. They might make mistakes because they don't care, or they might make them because they're "fighting back" in some small way.
4. They're quick to tell customers how they feel.
With unhappy employees, their discontent is right at the surface. It doesn't take much for them to express their frustration with your company or work environment to others. ("You think our product selection is poor? You ought to work here.")
5. They don't cooperate willingly.
Unhappy players are focused on their own experience. They insulate themselves from their team members and colleagues, especially when colleagues are content in the workplace. Unhappy employees don't notice when things get hectic and colleagues are rallying to solve a problem, and they don't volunteer to pitch in.
6. They're hostile to others.
Unhappy employees are quick to show anger and volatility. Civility goes out the window. They express their frustration with whomever they come into contact with, or to whomever they can treat badly without consequence.
7. They quit and leave.
Unhappy employees are typically impatient. If things aren't working out, if they don't feel valued or included, they quit and leave. If a high frequency of talented employees voluntarily leave your organization, you may have a deeply unhappy workforce.
8. Even worse--they quit and stay.
Sometimes it's easier to remain in a known environment, even if that environment is unfriendly, unkind, etc. Unhappy employees may take the low road, choosing to stay while doing even LESS than the minimum.
9. They don't participate in company meetings or social events.
Unhappy employees are unlikely to spend time outside of work hours engaging in team bonding activities or barhopping. They likely don't have close friends at work and may particularly dislike company events. The rah-rah about a big customer sale or a successful launch feels fake and exhausting for them.
10. They're more excited about leaving work at the end of the day than they are about arriving in the morning.
Unhappy employees are motivated--they're just not motivated to do the things you pay them to do. Their disconnectedness and discontent means they won't be excited to be at work. You'll see them excited and enthused about outside-the-workplace things--family events, a big concert, or even building homes with Habitat for Humanity. That's fine--but you won't also see them enthused about the work you're paying them to do.
What do you think? Are there other warning sings we missed? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to check out the free bonus content, 9 Things Great Leaders Say Every Day (infographic).