Fostering Excellence
Bringing out the best in each of us
Many organizations and businesses will face an unhappy workforce at some point in their history. Not every endeavor goes perfectly, and things change over time. Identifying the root cause of an office’s unhappiness, so solutions can be implemented and morale improved, is critical to getting an organization back on its feet and moving towards success again.

The following are some typical problems that cause employee unhappiness, as well as prescriptions to nip these problems in the bud:
Stalled business – If your business is in a rut, this situation can result in a demotivated organization. Getting your company unstuck and thriving again is critical so as to not suffer the attrition of your best employees on top of the circumstances which are stalling your company. Consider involving your employees in identifying the root cause and proposing solutions. This will galvanize them into action, give them ownership of the problem and empower them to be a part of the solution. You can energize your office and get to work solving the problem at the same time!

Toxic leaders – If some of your subordinate leaders are partial to favorites of their employees, fail to hold their team accountable, ignore festering office problems or engage in other toxic behaviors, you are likely to have an unhappy workforce. In cases like these, the best course of action is to remove the toxic leader and replace them with a strong and positive leader willing to tackle the office problems in a fair, transparent and consistent manner. You owe that team excellent leadership, make sure they get it!

Unchallenging work – If your employees are bored with their tasks, then you have some great employees. Employees who need to be challenged are exactly the type of employee you want on your team. Keeping them developing and stretching will take consistent effort on your part. If you workforce is bored and unchallenged, it’s time to take that office to the next level. Look for additional or new projects that your team can work on to engage them. Additionally, advanced training can be just the thing to keep them developing while posturing your organization to grow in new areas.

Toxic coworkers – Often times a toxic coworker can make life miserable for the team. Gossiping, shirking, individualism and other such behaviors can kill a team’s morale. Team members like this also often complain vociferously about problems without providing any solutions. These types of coworkers should be moved along and replaced with coworkers who will partner with the team, enrich them, and strive to meet team goals.  

What to Do When You Have an Unhappy Workforce

5 Attributes of a Toxic Leader

Assessing Productivity Shortfalls

Products and Services

Six Fundamentals of Accountability in the Workplace

Your organization deserves a healthy, vibrant and challenging work experience. As a caring leader, you will be constantly seeking to improve organizational morale. If your organization is unhappy, or trending that way, look for toxicity in leaders or coworkers, and move those non-team players along. Ensure your team has challenging work, and involve them in problem solving business quandaries that are holding your organization back. Doing so will ensure your team is happy, developing and performing!
Michael Farr, PMP, is a Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and founder of He is passionate about recognition and enabling professionals to motivate their organizations through recognizing their member’s excellence. When he is not slaying dragons with his kids, he can be found at @fosterxcellence on Twitter and @fosteringexcellence on Facebook.