How to Re-engage Dissatisfied Employees


Employee satisfaction is measured by how an employee is satisfied with his job. Companies would always want to keep their employees happy by improving their work culture, compensation, benefits package, and other factors that lead to employee retention. So when an employee chooses to leave, the HR department’s first move is to know why. 

Employee retention is a huge concern even after the great resignation that began during the pandemic. In a survey, employees are still concerned about job security and are continuously exploring their options. Dissatisfaction results in employees engaging less and eventually leaving their jobs and managers are left wondering what might have gone wrong and if their offers are still worth working for. 

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is not just about happiness or contentment. Low-performing employees can be happy and that is not considered engagement. Employee engagement is defined by measuring employees' emotional and mental connection toward their job, their teams, and the entire organization. Employee engagement is the totality of commitment an employee can give so that the organization can achieve its goals. 
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What are the types of employee engagement?

Not all employees are engaged in their work with the same level or strength. Some might be a little motivated to accomplish their tasks during the day while others can be too inspired to work out their assignments in advance. 

Highly engaged employees

Highly engaged employees are those who want to stay longer with the company they’re working with. They love their job and are committed to helping the company grow. 

Moderately engaged employees

Moderately engaged employees are those who are satisfied with their work but are actually seeing improvement. Some of them may have something that is holding them back from a full engagement which could be a misunderstanding with another employee or a miscalculated reimbursement. 

Barely engaged employees

People who lack motivation or reason to work efficiently are often categorized as barely engaged employees. They have less commitment and are highly at risk of turnover. 

Disengaged employees

Disengaged employees usually don’t have anything good to say about the place they work in. They log in and work for compliance and do not have the drive to help the company achieve its goals. 


How to handle dissatisfied employees?

Most companies are trying to work out their employee benefits packages and culture to retain employees and reduce turnover. However, no matter how hard managers try, there will always be someone in the workplace who may not be happy. How will you handle dissatisfied employees and eventually re-engage them?

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Identify reasons why employees are not motivated

Employee demotivation usually emerges from poor relationships with co-workers, stress, conflicts with colleagues, and toxic work culture. It may not be advisable to put the dissatisfied employee into a performance improvement program at once without knowing the reason for demotivation. Managers should exert an effort to communicate with the employee and know the reason for dissatisfaction. 

Practice empathy

Each employee has his own kind of struggle and managers should not be quick to judge and decide. Mental health may not be your expertise as a manager but it helps to consider. Managers are expected to listen to their employees and support them when possible. Encourage employees to take a vacation, get a break or participate in some office activities. When an employee's performance is not pleasant, find a way to know why to show you understanding. 

Give incentives for good work

Recognizing good performance and incentivizing them will motivate employees and encourage others to do the same. By incentivizing, you’re letting employees know that you are also engaged and committed to achieving more. A simple lunch could be a reward that decreases burnout and the desire to leave. 

Make room for fun

The adage ‘all work and no fun makes Jack a dull boy’ may be a cliche but actually serves as a good reminder for managers to make room for some fun amidst tedious workloads. You don't really have to launch a team-building program every weekend but you can simply implement a weekday lunch together for the team. You can allot 10 minutes of office time each day for sharing where each member of the time will be given time to speak and share experiences. 

Consider flexible hours

Work and life balance have been a part of most companies’ culture after the pandemic. Although you might have asked employees to work in the office, offering flexible hours may also benefit the team. Depending on the nature of your business, you may allow employees to work from home or at their convenience. For as long as the task deadline and quality of work are not compromised. 


Re-engaging dissatisfied employees begins with listening. Listening sometimes involves not only the disgruntled employee but other members of the team. Knowing each side of every story can lead you to a more sound decision.

Make every employee a part of the bigger picture

Employees who know where the company is directed will better understand why certain tasks were assigned to them in the first place. Transparency allows even those in the lower ranks to understand policies or changes recently implemented. They’d be able to get a grasp of how important their role is and how beneficial it will be for everyone if they cooperate and commit to their work. 

Create opportunities

Although salary is a huge factor in employee retention, career opportunities are also reasons for good employees to stay. Anyone who is a part of a growing team will be determined to progress further in their career. Opportunities for growth and promotion create an avenue for improvement and inspire people to be good at what they do. 



Employee engagement is not an easy feat for the HR team. Not all efforts to make someone happy or satisfied will work. However, it pays to know that the company’s higher management is reaching out consistently to know where things need to improve. Zebra and other human resource platforms can help businesses addres problems that lead to employee disengagement and turnover. Payroll processing, understaffing, tax compliance and other HR tasks can be outsourced efficiently so no aspect of workforce management can lead tostaff resignations. 


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