Employees are the lifeblood of organizations. But frequently, their welfare is set aside for the company’s bigger strategic goals. If you play a managerial role in your company, you know how the company’s interests frequently tug against those of your people.
If you notice your team becoming less expressive of their opinions, chances are they feel like they are bottling up stress. Whether that has to do with work or their personal life, you can’t help but be concerned because, eventually, such stress can bleed through their work performance. You’ve done the same drill of casually opening a conversation to them but find that it does not work the same way it did.
Almost ultimately, not being able to express their concerns will reach its tipping point. In other words, they become burnt out; if not, they quit the job altogether. You do not want this to happen, especially for team members that help out a lot, and you see a promising journey ahead with your team. If your employee is, indeed, having pent-up issues with their work and working environment, it can be linked to either of these common employee sentiments:
1. I’m Not Paid Enough
Your staff might currently feel overwhelmed with their job assignment. They might have realized the stark contrast between their official list of duties and responsibilities and what they are actually doing. This feeling can be exacerbated if their colleagues of the same level seem less overwhelmed with work than they are.
You can resolve these salary disparity issues with a reliable payroll system to maintain employee salary confidentiality. The management can also emphasize how employees will be assessed according to their performance, and it shall reflect in the raise they will receive. If the staff still feels underpaid, you should be willing to discuss and negotiate their roles and wage commensurate with their output.
2. My Colleagues Are Exploiting Me
This is a common notion among employees who entered the company relatively later than their teammates. It is only natural to be extra nice, even offer to do some errands on their colleague’s behalf, when still new to the group. However, as time goes by, they notice that petty favors are constantly being thrown at them. Thus, they do not have any other choice but do them out of fear of being ostracized or seen in a bad light.
This is a difficult situation, especially for organizations with a stubborn culture of age or length of service hierarchy. Sometimes, an employee could feel as if their manager were the one exploiting them. They might feel like their boss passes their workload onto them, but take the credit from everyone at the end of the day. The more it pushes them to keep their mouth shut.
3. I Don’t Feel Fulfilled
Your staff could also feel like their job is not as gratifying as it used to be. This could be due to circumstances like having repetitive tasks or not being appreciated enough for their job. It could also originate from being overwhelmed with their current job assignment and, consequently, feeling like they are not cut out for the job than they always thought despite the years they prepared for and learned about it.
4. I Don’t Feel Safe Here
Feeling unsafe in one’s workplace can come from the fear of imperfection. Or, there are always eyes prying over one’s work. The feeling of insecurity is exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic when they feel their position in the company is threatened by possible layoffs or their health from exposure to the unseen health threat.
5. This Place Is a Mess
Sometimes, an employee could also feel as if they were blamed for flaws in established protocols. It is frustrating when a delay or error repeatedly occurs, and they have to take the blame for only following what was written in the playbook.
Encouraging Your Employees to Open Up
Having your people care freely open up is a challenge for any manager, but there are ways to bridge this communication gap. Introspection is a good start. Ask yourself if you have been a reliable, trustworthy, and responsible leader. Also, recall instances when you have probably made them feel uncomfortable, like they thought you were the only person you could hand over their uncertainties about their job. Still, you weren’t there to willingly catch the burden or mistreated them.
Then, find time to speak with them in private. Ask them how they are and assure them that whatever you discuss will not be disclosed to any other person in the workplace. Without judgment, listen to what hurt them and why they think they should be compensated for. Wrapping up the open forum, clearly express how sorry you are on behalf of the organization that they had to suffer all this time. You, as their manager, should mediate for them if a situation merits them to feel the same things in the future.