Diffusing Disgruntled Employees

Sharon Boyd has nearly 25 years of experience between both the healthcare and marketing industries. In addition to being an RDH and content writing expert, she also holds a degree in business. Her responsibilities primarily include tackling the communication barriers between small business owners or healthcare providers and their prospective clientele.

Diffusing Disgruntled Employees

There’s an old saying that’s still true today, “One bad apple can ruin the bunch.” When it comes to your employees, a disgruntled team member can wear down overall morale and make work the last place anyone wants to be (including you)

Although it’s sometimes necessary to part ways with a disgruntled employee, it’s not always the best solution. Especially if it’s more than one staff member. By making specific key changes (and having difficult conversations) you can save yourself — and your company — the heartache of a high turnover.

Don’t Avoid it or Put it Off

The longer you wait to address unhappiness in the workplace, the greater the risk there is of losing valuable staff. You may be someone who avoids conflict at all costs, but this is one of those areas where you can’t afford to ignore it and hope it goes away. Disgruntled people affect everyone around them. Handle the issue immediately.

Be Empathetic

Everyone is entitled to a bad day now and then. Your employee’s personal life may be spilling into the workplace. Approach them with kindness, even if you don’t know of anything going on within their home. You just never know. But all of us need grace from time to time.

Offer Solutions

Remain completely professional as you work with the team to identify the underlying problem. Is it something specific, or a plethora of issues across the company as a whole? Once you’ve identified the concern, make a decision as the manager to provide a solution. The fact that you are aware of and want to solve the problem will get your team headed back in the right direction.

Keep it Private

Regardless of what’s going on in your employee’s lives, respect their privacy and don’t repeat things to other people within the office. If your employee opens up enough to you to share what’s going on, you need to provide confidentiality. Should others within the workplace complain, let them know you’ve addressed the issue at hand and there is a plan in motion to improve the situation.

Adjust Responsibilities

Sometimes personalities clash, regardless of what anyone does. It may be worthwhile to simply adjust the roles and responsibilities on a foundational level so as to reduce (or eliminate) interactions that could be potentially problematic.

Keep Moving Forward

Don’t dwell in the past, especially if it’s already been dealt with. As a business owner or manager, you can’t afford to waste the time or energy mulling over what’s already been done. Look to the future and implement the changes you’ve set in motion.


As much as we like to believe it, we’re not always right. If you notice multiple disgruntled staff, we need to take a moment for self-reflection of our management style and workplace environment. Consider working with a mentor or leadership expert to identify specific changes that can be made to affect overall morale within the entire office.

A positive workplace environment reduces staff turnover, increases productivity, and improves overall team morale. But it also requires careful, thought-out planning and implementation!