How to spot an unhappy employee

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It’s so important for your employees to be happy at work, for both their own well-being and as they’re directly working with children. It can be difficult to spot an unhappy member of staff when you’re managing a big team and running a busy setting; however if you know what to look out for you’ll be able to approach the member of staff and try to resolve any issues they may be encountering.

So, why is it so important?

There are many reasons why you should have a happy and positive workforce. Looking after the people who work for you should be high priority. They’re the working cogs in the machine that help your nursery to run smoothly and effectively and by having happy, well-treated staff, your business will see positive results.

Staff who are happy:

  • Are more motivated.
  • Are more engaged with work.
  • Have a positive work outlook.
  • Are more likely to be productive.
  • Are more likely to positively influence those around them.

Another important reason to make sure your staff are happy is so they can positively influence the children they’re caring for to the best of their ability.

What should you be looking for when trying to spot an unhappy employee?

There are some signs that will be far easier to spot and some that may be less clear in a busy environment. Listed below are possible factors that your employee may be unhappy.

  • No motivation – You may find that your member of staff has no energy and coasts along doing the bare minimum.
  • A change of mood – Have you noticed any members of staff that used to be full of life but recently seem more reserved or quiet?
  • Absence or lateness – turning up late to work on multiple occasions or missing days off work.
  • Lack of co-operation – going against work tasks set by management or not communicating within a team.

What to do if you suspect someone is unhappy

If you have assessed the situation thoroughly and have reason to believe your employee is unhappy, it’s time to act. You can approach this in a way that you feel is best for your business, but the main outcome should be that your employee feels supported and that they’re able to discuss their issue with you. There are a few examples below on how to approach this situation.

  • Privacy is essential. Ask for a word somewhere quiet so they feel they can open up to you in a confidential and uninterrupted space.
  • Speak to them in a positive manner. Approach the topic in a friendly and optimistic way, so they feel you’re trying to help get their issues resolved.
  • Discuss with your employee the reasons why they’re unhappy, make a list of these together and how you can both work to resolve them.
  • Ask them questions that may evoke conversation such as, “Do you feel challenged enough at work?”, “Are you getting along with your team mates?”, “Do you feel you could be provided with more training?” and so on.

Striving towards a happy workforce will benefit your setting tremendously. Staff are far more likely recommend your setting to potential future employees if they love their place of work. The positive atmosphere will also encourage motivation, higher levels of productivity and also – more smiles!

If you need help in providing training to develop your staff, get in touch with one of our friendly team today!

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