The latest overview of the country’s mental health by the Australian Psychological Society found that one in seven Australians experienced severe to extremely severe depressive symptoms. Nearly half attributed these to their jobs. Further research into depression in the workplace shows the reason staff experience the most dissatisfaction is a poor environment and the feeling of being treated unfairly by management.
To resolve interpersonal problems and improve department productivity, managers must regularly stop and look at their employees for signs of job satisfaction or lack thereof, so that they can take the necessary measures to prevent mental health concerns. Here are some indicators of an unhappy staff:
1. Avoiding the boss
If they’re conveniently out of the office when it’s time for a team meeting, or if they purposely walk in the opposite direction when they see the boss coming, it’s safe to say they’re avoiding contact. It’s not a good sign if an employee goes out of his or her way to dodge conversation with the manager.
2. Doing as little as possible
When employees don’t offer to help with anything, or they don’t ask about ways to further increase their value to the company, this could point out that they’re not engaged. They shouldn’t just wait for to have tasks assigned to if they want to be working there.
3. Leaves early
Employees who only go to work to do the hours and then leave might not want to be there at all. It’s not hard to stay an extra couple of minutes past 5pm if it means finishing a task. But if the employee is dissatisfied with management, he/she will find the nearest exit and be on his/her way as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
4. They're nervous
It’s easy to tell when an employee is feeling nervous- they’re fidgeting, words don’t come easy; they might avoid eye contact or stutter. However, the anxiety might actually be a sign of a leadership problem. If the boss is showing employees that they’re valued, they shouldn’t be freaking out when it’s time to have a chat.
5. Making small talk smaller
If employees are so distant that they don’t even want to talk about what they did on the weekend, it could be that they no longer feel comfortable enough to share anything. Bosses aren’t expected to act like best friends, but they should know a few basic things about their employees.
6. Regularly chucking sickies
If managers arrive at the office most days only to wonder where all the employees have disappeared to and then find out they’re all ‘sick’, it might be time to think about why employees don’t want to be at work anymore.
7. Leaving without much notice
When employees are quick to leave their positions, allowing for no more than the minimum notice period required, it indicates a lack of respect for management and the job itself. It means they won’t consider the implications of an empty desk at the office and that they’re not overly concerned about it.
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