Common Employee Complaints About Management

Published December 14, 2016

Are you curious about what your employees might be complaining of? Do you want to increase staff efficiency as well as their satisfaction?

Knowing what makes employees unhappy is the first step to improving your relationship with employees. Listening to employees and providing opportunities for them to communicate with company managers contribute to increasing their satisfaction and motivating them to work harder.

Six common employee complaints are listed below. This article is intended to help you have a more comprehensive understanding of what employees tend to be concerned about and how to deal with employer-employee relationships.

  1. Poor Management: The management team plays a vital role in any organization. Managers are in charge of many things within the organization, including motivating employees, planning, organizing and controlling. Sometimes people leave because they can’t get along with their bosses, not because they don’t like their jobs.Managers with poor leadership skills tend to ignore opinions from employees, give vague objectives to their employees or even change the evaluation standards frequently. For example, employees will feel frustrated and exhausted if the manager asks them to focus on one task this week, but tell them to ignore that task the next. Poor management can cause a decline in employee productivity, enhance management costs, as well as increase the turnover rate of the company.
  2. Micromanagement: Everyone agrees it’s stressful to have a micromanaging boss, who virtually breathes down your neck. It is impressive for a manager to be involved and spend time with employees, but an over-involved boss can be a nightmare. There are several reasons that micromanagement occurs. It may arise when managers are too concerned about details. Micromanagers step in and do the work of employees, rather than showing trust in them. Employees are left with the impression they’re not needed, since managers are doing the lion’s share of the job and double checking any work employees have carried out. Some employees may become depressed because they’re robbed of the ability to work. In the long run, employees who want to succeed in the workplace will eventually leave the company, ultimately reducing the company’s efficiency.
  3. Favouritism: Favouritism means that someone receives special treatment in the workplace: a couple of examples are receiving an undeserved promotion or having a better schedule. Ongoing favouritism will destroy employee morale in the workplace and will lead to a drop in company productivity.  When preferential treatment is given to selected staff, those reasonable employees who find it unfair are likely to look for work elsewhere.
  4. Unfair pay: An employee’s pay is based on their experience, educational background, position within the company and so on. If two employees with comparable backgrounds occupy the same position, but one earns more than the other one, the situation is bound to give rise to anger and doubts about fairness. To avoid this, companies need to establish a clear and fair wage standard.
  5. Limited Career Growth and Advancement: There can be many reasons why employees dislike their jobs, and lacking career opportunity is one of them. Feeling stuck in a position, employees are less likely to exert themselves in the workplace and keep the company’s productivity levels high.  Staff members are more willing to work hard and maintain high output if employers include them in the company’s long-term development plan or use recognition to show their appreciation.   Valuing staff is key to employee retention. Employees will commit themselves to an organization when they have opportunity to be promoted and receive compensation that reflects their responsibilities.
  6. Heavy Workloads: This happens when businesses are understaffed or managers set unrealistic targets for staff. When employers fail to understand employee capacity and what is involved in a given task, employees will fail. To avoid this problem, companies need to have a firm grasp on their business processes, have a proper level of human resources, and understand each employee’s capabilities. A time management app like Punchtime can assist employers in understanding and following their employees workflow and the demands on their time.

Why Worry About Employee Satisfaction?

The potential for damage to the company stemming from  dissatisfied employees is considerable:

  • Workforce productivity: Dissatisfied employees tend to spend more time complaining than focusing on their duties. They lack motivation and attention to detail, which reduces their productivity. Companies with an abundance of unhappy workers are likely to experience profit loss. Conversely, satisfied employees are loyal to the company and make the most of their work time in order to produce quality products and services.
  • Customer retention: Disgruntled employees are less likely to proactively interact with customers. However, customers will receive more positive and cheerful service from employees who enjoy what they do for a living. If the customer experience is negative because of unhappy staff, customer loyalty is anything but assured. Happy employees bring happy customers.
  • Employee turnover: Researchers have found that overall dissatisfaction is the reason for the decision to leave a company. And dissatisfaction is like a disease: it can spread throughout the workplace, infecting other employees. When the turnover rate increases, it can have a snowball effect and prompt other employees to quit and find employment elsewhere. Employee turnover is costly and  negatively impacts the company’s bottom line.
  • Business reputation: Word of mouth is a powerful way to build a business reputation. Vice versa, it can also ruin a business reputation. That’s why the behaviour, actions and performance of employees matters. It becomes difficult for a company to recruit qualified applicants if it has a reputation for being a bad place to work. Dissatisfied employees can cause inestimable harm to a company’s good reputation.

Regardless of whether you’re a small, medium or large enterprise and regardless of your sector, it just makes good business sense to invest time and effort in maintaining high employee satisfaction.