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dealing with unhappy employees as an eco-friendly business owner dealing with unhappy employees as an eco-friendly business owner


5 Questions Eco-Friendly Entrepreneurs Need To Ask Unhappy Employees

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Are you trying to run an eco-friendly business? You can’t discount the importance of employee satisfaction.

Many employees turn to green businesses, because they feel a genuine calling to help the planet. In fact, 65% of employees have stated that they would prefer working for a company that was environmentally responsible.

However, their passion for environmentalism won’t be enough to keep them productive or stop them from leaving for greener pastures.

You must do everything possible to keep your employees happy. Your company won’t be around long enough to help the planet if your employees all end up leaving. has taken feedback from its employees and recently started recycling its own boxes and turning them into packing material to make employees more happy.

Keep Your Employees Happy Long Enough for Your Green Business to Thrive

One of the things that affect the profitability of your eco-friendly business is working with disgruntled employees. A team of unhappy employees reduces not only your business’s productivity, but also impacts your short and long-term goals.

You can’t underestimate the importance of this, especially as a green business. You are already going to be facing some additional challenges as an eco-friendly business. Harvard Business School points out that green businesses are very difficult to make profitable. It will be harder yet if you don’t keep your employees happy.

Therefore, it’s crucial to address employee unhappiness before your organization crumples and your dream of helping the planet by running an eco-friendly company evaporates.

Here are five questions to ask an unhappy employee.

1. Do You Love Your Company’s Culture?

One of the obvious components of your company culture is your commitment to sustainability. All of your employees probably support this, since they probably started working at your eco-friendly company to help the planet. However, there are other elements of your company culture that might be more toxic.

According to a report, invisible company culture contributes to disengaged employees. The main reasons affecting an employee’s satisfaction are intangible. These include work environment, interpersonal relationships, and culture. Therefore, if your team members don’t like your culture, taking your business to the next level isn’t easy.

Make sure you have an employee-friendly workplace. You should avoid a toxic company culture. One of the most sought-after features in an office is a flexible schedule. This allows employees to adjust their commitments and deal with personal issues where possible.

What’s more, promoting perks like continued education and a casual dress code can demonstrate you respect a long-term employee experience. This also proves you respect your employees’ time and aspirations.

2. Do Your Managers Value Your Employee Feedback?

Even though you are a senior member of the HR department doesn’t mean your employees don’t have great ideas. Actually, employees feel disheartened when dealing with superiors who don’t value their opinion or ideas. So, if employees don’t have the chance to offer their feedback, they end up dissatisfied.

One of the reasons employees aren’t satisfied is ill-thought-out objectives. In fact, according to the Financial Times, unrealistic goals in the workplace contribute to employee burnout. Therefore, involving employees in setting goals shows you respect their feedback.

When setting SMART objectives, you should collaborate with your workforce. Employees are happier when they have a say in developing their own goals. As a matter of fact, they feel motivated to achieve these goals. However, if they think the goals are unreasonable, they lose interest, and this leads to disengaged employees.

3. Do You Feel Recognized and Respected for Your Work?

According to research, receiving regular praise translates to higher employee retention. Unfortunately, a third of workers confessed to receiving recognition for their efforts in the last seven days. But, what one employee considers respectful recognition may not be the same for another employee. For instance, introverts fear public announcements, while extroverts get offended when they aren’t recognized.

Make sure you consider the last time an unhappy employee felt that you recognized their work. With this in mind, implement a performance management and rewards strategy that includes recognition. For example, you may have a digital signage screen that displays employee of the week or best performer to motivate hardworking employees.

4. Do You Enjoy Working in Your Current Team?

One of the other questions to ask an unhappy employee is whether they get along with their teammates. As a result, inquire whether they have friends and why they aren’t social with others. According to research by Christina Maslach, social relationships in your business may either be the most positive feature or the greatest source of stress.

In fact, many employees claim they can handle a workload but later find themselves unable to deal with politicking, competitiveness, back-stabbing, unfairness, gossip, and lack of recognition. Until you make considerable effort to find out how your workers are relating, you won’t implement any real change.

5. What Can I Do to Help?

A critical question to ask an unhappy employee is what you can do to help. You need to offer specific suggestions to make their work bearable. This shows your employees that you care about their well-being and want to retain them in your business for the long term.

There is a possibility that a disgruntled employee’s absenteeism or poor performance is a sign of a larger unknown issue. Hence, it’s essential that you listen to your employees’ complaints and offer a solution. According to the founder of Calendar, when leaders show humility, disgruntled employees are more likely to open up to them about their problems.

Therefore, if your employee has a negative attitude with their job, pay attention to their concern and offer to help. It isn’t wrong or demeaning to help an employee, even when you rank higher than them in an organization. This demonstrates humility, maturity, and empathy. Above all, employees today want bosses who care about their well-being.

Keeping Employees Happy is Key to Running a Thriving Green Business

There are a lot of challenges that you face when growing a green business. You already have to deal with higher operating costs, so you can’t make things harder by failing to keep employees happy. It’s crucial for eco-friendly business owners to understand that the productivity of employees is a top priority. Happy employees have job satisfaction and have a higher motivation than disgruntled workers. On that account, make sure everything from the work environment to the co-workers and company culture boosts employee morale. Performing a survey is the best way to identify the problems facing your workforce and address them before impacting your company’s long-term goals.

Brandon Jarman is a freelance writer based out of Salt Lake City. He’s an advocate for living a more sustainable life and saving energy. When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with family, playing video games, and hiking.