As a leader, you may be faced with unhappy team members.  Some may dislike policies and procedures; some may not like the work they do, while others may just not be happy about anything.  It’s difficult to win over unhappy people—but it’s not impossible.

How to Help an Unhappy Team Member

Listen to them. What do they want, what aren’t they getting? Why don’t they like whatever it is they don’t like? Once you learn this—do your best to accommodate them.

Involve them. Include unhappy campers and even malcontents in the decision making process. Keep an open mind—they may have a better idea or unique perspective. Seek their opinion and advice and you may find, whether their recommendations are used or not, it brings them closer to the team, personal satisfaction, and happiness.

Support them. Learn what work initiatives they’re passionate about and lend your power and authority to the cause. It’s harder to be unhappy when your passions are supported.

Recognize them.  When they accomplish tasks, hit quotas, or initiate new procedures share their activities and positive results. If you want to put a smile on someone’s face recognize their value and worth.  Often a simple thank you goes a long way.

Befriend them. Be the boss they can talk to, share their challenges, and support their efforts.

The truth is you can’t make everyone happy. There are unhappy people (I try my best not to hire them, but that’s another post) for which there is no answer. They’re just not going to be happy regardless what you say or do. But this is a small group—most people only need a little understanding and concern shown for their needs, wants, and desires. It’s possible to listen, involve, support, recognize, and befriend your way to their happiness.  Life’s too short to be unhappy—help someone smile today.

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