Six signs of unhappy employees | SupportBiz

Human Resources

Six signs of unhappy employees

A motivated, satisfied lot of employees is an asset for an organisation, the force behind its growth and success. On the other hand, dissatisfied, unhappy and unmotivated employees can spell doom for a business. SupportBiz lists the top six signs to help you identify if your employees are unhappy.


A high level of absenteeism among employees could be a sign of dissatisfaction. Employees who are unhappy with their jobs tend to take longer lunch breaks, stay away from work more, and take more leaves. If other employees are asked to fill in for the absent ones, it might lead to the spreading of ill will, resentment and low morale in your organisation.

High absenteeism could indicate personal problems rather than work-related issues on the part of your employees. Hence, a thorough and honest discussion with the concerned employee/s would help you in arriving at a true picture of the situation.

Low productivity

A drastic fall in the productivity of an employee could be an indicator of his dissatisfaction at work. Less production than usual, an increase in the number of errors and sloppy work could affect the reputation of your firm, and hence, needs to be seriously looked into.

Low levels of productivity could indicate problems with co-workers or other personal issues.  A one-on-one discussion with the employee could help you determine the underlying cause of this.

Poor attitude

The poor attitude of an employee might be indicative of his/her dissatisfaction. Continuously refusing requests by co-workers, refusal to follow instructions, constant sullenness, rudeness or aggressiveness, outbreaks of temper, as well as a regression in appearance and hygiene, can show that the employee is unhappy.

Constant complaints

Dissatisfied employees are largely unfocused on their work, and lack finesse and attention to detail. Hence, chances of errors and shoddiness in their work are more. A constant stream of complaints from clients about the work done by a certain employee or a group of employees might, thus, indicate that they are unhappy.

There could be several reasons behind this problem: lack of training to the employee/s, lack of interest in the work on the part of the employee/s, unrealistic expectations or an extremely heavy workload.

High employee turnover

An increase in the level of employee turnover in your organisation could be indicative of your staff being dissatisfied. Particularly, senior-level employees suddenly turning in their resignation could be an indicator of unrest within the organisation.

Exit interviews and in-depth conversations with your employees can help you determine the cause behind the high turnover rate.


In extreme cases, dissatisfied employees might resort to violent activities to vent their frustration, such as destroying office property or displaying overt hostility with co-workers. If a certain employee has often been reported to display such violent acts, it might indicate dissatisfaction with the job.