These seven major employee complaints can be successfully addressed. To do so, however, requires a proactive approach and senior management involvement.
The Employee FOUR
F-earful - about losing their jobs;
O-verworked - due to the large number of cutbacks that have taken place;
U-nappreciated - for the hard work and stress that they are enduring; and
R-esentful - about the lack of respect they are receiving.
Seven Major Complaints
- There's no job security here.One out of two employees believe his or her job is not secure.Employees are valuable assets and investments but organizations often foolishly view them as liabilities and expenses. All too often employees are simply eliminated before much more effective money-saving alternatives are considered. Management should first consider selling non-core assets and cutting other expenses such as executive bonuses. Also, to make better use of employees, organizations should re-train them or consider selling their services to other companies on a temporary basis.
- I don't trust management.One out of two employees do not believe the information they receive from management.The vicious cycle of distrust in organizations can be broken. It requires management to start trusting employees, be honest at all times, and listen to employee suggestions and concerns.
- There's too much work to do.Three out of five employees believe there are not enough qualified employees to handle the workload.Resolving this problem requires changes to both the work and the staffing. Long-standing procedures need to be streamlined and unnecessary work eliminated. Also, staffing audits should be used to gain a clear understanding of the appropriate number of qualified employees needed in each department.
- The pay is too low.Six out of 10 employees are dissatisfied with their pay.Eliminate inequities in the pay structure and conduct salary surveys so that decisions about pay are not made in a total vacuum. Establishing a clear pay philosophy and communicating it to employees can also reduce pay dissatisfaction. Supervisors should also be trained about what they should and should not say to employees about compensation.
- Communication is poor.Two out of three employees feel there is poor communication between departments in their organization.Most organizations are plagued with "finger pointing." Instead of blaming other departments for a lack of communication and cooperation, encourage employees to focus on what THEY can do to improve the situation.
- I don't have enough balance in my life.More than four out of 10 employees feel they do not have a good balance between their work and personal lives.Employees often feel imprisoned by their employers. Give employees the opportunity for more flexible work schedules so that they can achieve better balance between their work and personal lives.
- I feel unappreciated.Half of all employees feel they do not receive the recognition they deserve from their supervisor.Supervisors should be trained on how to provide positive feedback to employees. They must also learn to how to discipline and manage ineffective performers.These seven major employee complaints can be successfully addressed. To do so, however, requires a proactive approach and senior management involvement.
Dr. Bruce Katcher is an Industrial/Organizational psychologist and President of The Discovery Group, a Massachusetts-based firm that specializes in conducting Employee Opinion and Customer Satisfaction surveys. He can be reached at 888-784-4367 or via email at [email protected].