4 Common Employee Complaints -- and How to Fix Them

Letting your workers remain unhappy is not in your company's best interests.

Maurie Backman
Maurie Backman
Mar 15, 2019 at 7:19AM
Investment Planning

Having unhappy employees doesn't just make things less pleasant at the office -- it can also hurt your business. When workers aren't content, their productivity tends to suffer, and your bottom line can easily follow suit. Here are a few common complaints that tend to stem from employees -- and what you, as an employer, can do about them.

1. Salaries that are too low

A study released last year by staffing firm Robert Half found that 46% of employees feel they're underpaid. If that seems to be a common gripe at your place of work, it pays to focus on establishing a grounded compensation strategy that helps your employees avoid feeling shorted. That strategy should entail a fair amount of research so that you're paying workers what they're worth, all the while keeping your company's goals in mind.

Filing cabinet drawer labeled complaints

Image source: Getty Images.

2. Lackluster benefits

Workplace benefits can play a big role in employee satisfaction, so if your company's aren't up to par, you might hear your fair share of grumbling. American companies are notoriously stingy when it comes to paid time off for vacation and sick leave, so that's one area to focus on in particular. In doing so, ask yourself whether your workers are really being given an adequate amount of time to recharge or tend to health or personal issues that inevitably arise during the year.

At the same time, it never hurts to re-examine your health benefits and make sure they're adequate. A plan that leaves your employees with high deductibles and limited coverage might cause workers to skimp on healthcare, thereby increasing the amount of time they're out of the office sick.

Finally, aim to offer a respectable retirement plan. If your business is too small to warrant the costs associated with a 401(k), see if a SIMPLE IRA is a reasonable alternative.


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3. Poor company management

Your company's leaders can make or break your workers' experience, so if your management team is falling down in any sense, it's best to get ahead of the problem. A couple of issues you might focus on are communication and attitude. If managers at your company communicate poorly, everyone is bound to suffer. You might therefore institute a policy where managers update their teams at key intervals, or schedule team meetings to get everyone on the same page. At the same time, encourage your managers to be open to feedback and reasonable with their expectations to avoid a scenario where your workers are overwhelmingly stressed.

4. Lack of career growth

From an employee perspective, there's almost nothing worse than feeling trapped in a dead-end job. To avoid that sentiment among your workers, make a point of establishing a career development program that enables them to keep growing and learning. That could mean giving them opportunities to dabble in new tasks, throwing financial support their way by sponsoring coursework or conference attendance, or setting them up with mentors to guide them.

As an employer, it's your responsibility to make sure your workers are reasonably content. Otherwise, you risk losing them. Therefore, aim to understand what sticking points your employees are grappling with, and get ahead of them before they drive people to leave. While you might have to invest some time and money into retaining talent, remember that you might have to spend even more if you're forced to go out and replace missing talent.