JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater put a national spotlight on employee discontent and ways in which employees are coping with extra responsibility, less resources and support, and small or nonexistent raises and bonuses.
Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, weighed in on this very issue recently and made some very important points that managers and organization leaders should keep in mind when dealing with issues of employee satisfaction.
“Cost-cutting has led to a reduction in team size, but the expectations by management for employees and the work per employee has not decreased along with size. If anything, it has increased. This inverse relationship between layoffs and work expectations adds significant pressure to already challenged and stretched workers,”
So how do you combat this? Regularly gauge customer satisfaction and frustrations through surveys or open-door policies that encourage feedback. And acknowledge, acknowledge, acknowledge. If someone does a good job, whether it’s a simple e-mail or a face-to-face chat, these small gestures can make a big difference.
“Failure to monitor the discontent … means companies are running the risk of … missed productivity and dissatisfaction or public outbursts.”
Janet Pfieffer, motivational speaker and author of “The Secret Side of Anger,” based in New Jersey, also said it’s imperative for employees to have resources at their disposal.
“One of the biggest complaints from employees is that they feel overworked, underpaid and underappreciated,” she told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “Many of them consider the workplace environment to be somewhat hostile and abusive, especially nowadays with the economy as bad as it is.”
Managers should be cognizant of the pressures and frustrations their employees are experiencing and act accordingly.
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