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7 Causes Of Employee Dissatisfaction and How to Prevent Them

Oftentimes, job satisfaction is excluded from the top-tier level of business priorities. Other enterprises may look at employee productivity vis-a-vis business performance but don’t bother knowing the root causes of dissatisfaction.

7 Causes Of Employee Dissatisfaction and How to Prevent Them

A worker is demotivated due to various workplace issues. However, regardless of the reason, the business sector stands to suffer heavily. This is because employee dissatisfaction can lead to problems like poor productivity, sickness, absenteeism, and ultimately, high turnover rates.

According to a survey commissioned by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in 2019, almost half of Americans are mulling to leave their jobs. The said survey also found out that about 58% of workers left their jobs because of their managers. Additionally, some USD$223 billion is estimated to have been lost due to these turnovers in a span of five years.

Why Employees Lose Motivation At Work

This article has curated a few of the most common causes of workers’ dissatisfaction and discusses the ways to prevent them from hurting your business.

1. Limited Career Growth

Not all individuals are competitive in nature. But no one will likely stay in the same job position for more than twenty years if they knew that there won’t be any possibility of promotion.

This lack of opportunity to climb up the career ladder is one of the main reasons why workers decide to transfer to businesses that provide better career advancement opportunities.

2. A Problematic Boss

If you’re a business wondering why you can’t retain your best employees, consider conducting a survey or having a confidential talk with employees of various departments to know how their supervisors treat them. To be fair, it’s not at all easy to run a team, except when you all get along very well. However, if your staff don’t feel valued or listened to, it can be a recipe for work discontentment.

According to, 75% of employees quit their job not because of pay issues but due to problems with their supervisors.

3. Inefficient Management

The management is key to providing the whole organization with direction. This essential business unit sets the rules and plans, as well as implements the operational steps needed to achieve company objectives.

Without clearly-set goals and strong leadership, a business will lose direction and its employees will become frustrated. The staff will feel like they’re running around like a headless chicken.

4. Unpleasant Co-Workers


The overall working environment, especially a close and fun relationship with colleagues, is important to employees. In fact, a 2019 survey conducted by Statista about the main contributors for job satisfaction showed that ‘people at work’ and ‘commute to work’ are tied for the first place, gathering a 60% score.

Communication, teamwork, and collaboration are extremely important in an organization’s success. Without these elements, a worker may find himself or herself isolated, further leading to job displeasure. Inversely, a Gallup research revealed that good relations with colleagues augmented staff satisfaction by 50%.

5. Being Underpaid

Some workers feel that the organizations they work for fail to look at their employees as genuine ‘human resources.’ While money isn’t the most common reason for leaving a job, some workers equate their salaries with their value in the company. If they feel that they’re not paid enough, workers can get easily demotivated. Some may not hesitate to seek greener pastures and transfer to other jobs that offer higher salaries.

6. Burnout or Lack of Interest

Job skills matching needs to be mastered by the human resources department or recruitment team. This may be difficult at first, but in the screening process, employers must have the means to gauge applicant interest and motivation.

Anyone who’s not continuously challenged and engaged in what they do triggers boredom and, later, displeasure to their job.

7. Job Insecurity

Companies that are under distress or on the verge of shutting down will understandably be a major cause of stress. As a result, the staff will most likely have mediocre or low productivity levels and focus on looking to jump ship to other companies.

In times like these, one of the best things that a company has to do is to provide employee training on effective job hunting or write employee referral letters.

How To Avoid Employee Dissatisfaction    


As mentioned earlier, enterprises, both large and small, are losing billions of dollars in productivity issues and fast employee turnover annually. Generally speaking, employee retention is better for business stability and growth as compared to frequent hiring and onboarding new hires.

Consider the following practices to combat unhappiness and dissatisfaction among employees:

  • Maintain work and life balance: Not all perks and benefits are monetary. Health issues, work stress, and family obligations negatively impact productivity levels. In order to keep your workers happy, offer more flexible work arrangements and reward deserving employees with gift cards to, for example, sports tickets.
  • Lead your employees: Make sure to provide clear objectives and instructions to your employees, and guide them properly. This allows them to have an understanding of what is expected of them, increasing their confidence and motivation.     
  • Challenge them and offer career advancement: Know what your employees are capable of by pushing their limits and teaching them to surpass these. Don’t forget to offer opportunities for transfer or career changes to deserving employees.
  • Offer training and room for growth: Another way to show employees that they’re valued is to provide them with opportunities to develop their skills or learn new things that interest them.
  • Leave lines open and engage your staff: Always communicate with your staff and listen to what they have to say. This will make them feel that they’re being valued. Ask what they want to do or how they view some of the issues related to the workplace.
  • Be generous with praises: Another sure way to boost an employee’s morale is to give a ‘pat on the back’ or congratulatory message and recognition for a job well done. Otherwise, establish a rewards system so that they further feel satisfied and become willing to do better.
  • Communication tools such as affirmation cards can help reduce employee stress and motivate them as well.
  • Be fair: Making employees feel that the management is inclined to develop one person or unit will create a sense of frustration to your staff. They’ll inevitably feel that anything they do doesn’t matter, which can trigger poor performance.

Final Thoughts


Without a capable and competent workforce, an enterprise won’t be able to achieve growth. Employees play a crucial role in maximizing an enterprise’s capacities. To ensure you retain your top talents, make all your employees contented.

You can do this by providing enough opportunities for growth, treating them well, and offering them some rewards or benefits. A business that does these things will see an improvement in its employees’ motivation, productivity, and contentment levels.


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