How to “disgruntle” a good employee in 4 simple steps

We all know employees come in every shape and form. There are bad employees, mediocre, okay, pretty good, and then there are The Good Employees.

The Good Employee usually possesses the following attributes:

  1. Dependable
  2. Dependable
  3. Dependable
  4. Motivated
  5. Positive

Basically The Good Employee is the person, who when you glance at the schedule and see their name, you sigh with relief and say, “Thank goodness, it is going to be a good day, so-and-so is going to be here.” The Good Employee is someone who can be counted on, doesn’t create drama, is motivated, and is a generally cheerful individual.

But, even the best employee can become…disgruntled. How do you describe a disgruntled person? A disgruntled person is someone who is unhappy, dissatisfied, angry, or feels unappreciated. According to Forbes Magazine, in 2013 over 2 million Americans were quitting their jobs EVERY MONTH. Alas it is 2015, so perhaps things have changed, but I’m just betting there are millions of people out there who were originally excited about working at the place of their employment and now are on a frantic job search. I’m sure MANY of these people are good employees–employees that show up, do their best, and try their hardest to be dependable. Well, why are they in such a hurry to leave their company they were once excited to work for?

How to “disgruntle” The Good Employee in 4 simple steps

  1. Don’t show concern for your employee’s personal life or well-being. I know work is work and we are supposed to leave our personal life kind of at the doorstep of our company, but if an employer never takes the time to just attempt to know a few things about who you are as a person (or even your name depending on the size of the company), then The Good Employee can easily start to feel as if all they are is a number.
  2. Overwork. You love it when so-and-so works. It means the place will run smoothly. So why not schedule them all seven days of the week? Clearly, overworking your employees will lead to exhaustion, irritability, and on the hunt for a new job where they feel…. more valued.
  3. Don’t listen. In some companies the managers or employers are people who have never been in the shoes of the lowest employee on the totem pole. They may burst out a list of demands with little or no thought or realization that even Superman cannot accomplish the said list of demands. Or an issue comes up and instead of listening to the full report on what happened, an individual is blamed for something they shouldn’t be blamed for. A company is about working as a team. You may be the leader at the helm but without your team, you wouldn’t be anything. We can all learn from each other. We can all learn from the guy at the bottom and we can all learn from the guy at the top. If A Good Employee shares thoughts, concerns, ideas…whatever, with a manager and nothing is done…the Good Employee will start to seek a job elsewhere.
  4. Never say thank you. Or never SHOW appreciation. I saved this one for last because all of the other steps hinge on this one. Feeling unappreciated day in and day out will turn The Good Employee into The Angry Employee. Sadly, millions of us feel extremely unappreciated at our jobs. (By the way, I’m not saying you should expect $2,000 dollars for just sitting at your desk. If you work hard you should get rewarded. If not, well…just work hard!) Never giving raises, never saying thank you, never pointing out the good in a person will lead to all of your good employees fleeing from your company.

Where the rubber hits the road: It is this simple, if you want to KEEP your good employees and have even more good employees working for you…never underestimate showing appreciation through listening, recognition, not overworking, and taking the time to get to know them.

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