13 Reasons Why Your Employees are Frustrated

Earn greater trust and respect.

Shane Barker
Jun 24, 2020 · 5 min read
Photo by AllGo - An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash

Can you say that all of your employees love your workplace?

Not very likely, right?

Trust me, you are not alone.

You may have witnessed their anger, disrespectful body language, or outright aggression at work. A study by O.C. Tanner Learning Group found that 79% of employees quit their jobs due to lack of appreciation.

This lack of employee understanding and motivation is costing businesses billions.

If you’re going to learn how to solve this problem, you have to know its origin.

So here are 13 reasons why employees get frustrated at work and don’t perform as they should.

1. They don’t know what is expected of them

Some employees may not be aware of what work standards they should maintain and they get frustrated as a result. Maybe the managers aren’t setting any goals or providing any guidelines about their expectations. So when there is no motivation to surpass any bar, employees do not feel the need to take the initiative.

Start on the right note. Define standards and set achievable targets for your projects. Your staff should know why they are doing a particular task and for whom. Clarity, flexibility, and accountability are key to tackling this issue.

2. They don’t know what’s in it for them

Most employees care about the bigger picture. They want to know why they are given a particular task and what the result will be. Moreover, they look for perks and appreciation. So reward employees for work well done from time to time.

When you understand what they need, there are better chances of creating a positive environment.

3. They don’t have good working conditions

An ideal workplace should include safe and comfortable facilities like advanced tools, comfortable work stations, good lighting, proper ventilation, etc. These basic requirements are equally important for job satisfaction and can help boost team productivity.

4. Teamwork is not encouraged

Many managers do not feel the need to encourage teamwork. And when this happens, internal conflicts are likely to surface. Things will end up being a matter of deciding whose fault it is. Management should ensure that employees feel supported and start encouraging teamwork to nurture healthy team relationships.

5. Management directives don’t match their capabilities

Gauge the competency levels of your employees and match assignments according to their experience and capacity. When the bar is set unrealistically high, they may feel as if they are being underestimated or exploited.

They may even feel that their managers don’t have a realistic understanding of their capabilities. Such beliefs may lead to an unwillingness to work efficiently, resulting in poor performance.

6. They feel the cultural burn

Even if everyone in your office is of the same ethnicity, there will still be cultural differences. This is bound to occur when you bring together people from diverse families and different backgrounds with diverse understandings of things. This may lead to mistrust, inadvertent offences, and inappropriate workplace behavior.

How do you overcome such differences on a management level? You can do cross-cultural training to help employees understand one another and their different backgrounds.

7. Loss of trust in management

Employees become frustrated when they are not heard. At the same time, they may trust you to hear them out and respond positively to address their frustrations.

There must be a constant reminder that there is room for change. You can foster an environment of trust in three ways:

  • Encourage them to vent their frustrations. Welcome their suggestions and attend to their worries.
  • When they approach you, listen rather than reacting.
  • Be flexible with your policies to accommodate your employees’ needs. If an employee wants to pick up their child from school or wants to leave early on a Thursday, give them the flexibility to do so. Find alternatives such as having them work from home that afternoon. When employees see that their problems are being addressed, you will end up with a more productive environment.

8. Too much micromanagement

Not just in the professional world but in every other sphere too, micromanagement saps the life out of us. Moreover, micromanagement shows your employees that you don’t trust them or their judgment. This can trigger disengagement and cause them to leave for more autonomy.

9. Minimal benefits beyond financial compensation

No doubt we all work for money, but we also want our work to be recognized as well. This recognition and appreciation can be in the form of work benefits like better vacation time, flexible work hours, etc.

Be mindful of unnecessary rules like restrictive office hours, vacation policies, and break timings. Your aim should be to create an effective, high-yielding workplace and not simply just a busy one.

10. They are engulfed in the job insecurity puddle

If you are on a sinking ship, you’ll prepare to jump — that’s how basic instinct works. The same holds true at work.

If your company is unstable, or the place feels too exhausting, employees will only work for their paycheck while looking around for other opportunities. They will spend most of their energy on complaining to whoever will listen, updating resumes, and preparing for interviews.

Yes, it may be hard to keep your best talent during difficult times. The key is to communicate frequently. Your aim should be to instill a sense of loyalty and trust for your brand.

Though you cannot make people stay, when there’s transparency in the air, there will be less scope for surprises.

11. They don’t feel the right connection

When there is a lack of communication, employees end up believing in rumors and gossip. This may result in them getting confused and frustrated. Clear communication, on the other hand, has a big impact on boosting employee morale and confidence.

12. They don’t trust company leadership

To wholeheartedly follow our leaders, we don’t need to love them. But at the same, it is no longer a healthy environment if we believe our leaders are incompetent.

The moment employees lose faith in you as a leader, their loyalties fray and worse, they may even get subversive.

As management, you need to inspire confidence and show faith. Regularly communicate your vision and what you have achieved so far.

13. They aren’t responding well to change

A major reason for employees not being willing to work could be an unexpected change in the work environment.

For instance, let’s say you’ve been maintaining a casual work environment for years. If your business suddenly upgrades to a more professional organization, it will require an obvious change in leadership and employee accountability.

Employees who have been with you for a long time may not respond well to such changes. Management must make an effort to make the transition easier and more fruitful. Furthermore, they should help the staff understand the reason for the change.


Most employees do not usually voice their frustrations. It is your job to spot those insecurities before they get overwhelming. After all, it takes a lot of time and effort to get people on board. By minimizing their frustrations, you will earn greater trust and respect for your brand.


How to be your best self.

Shane Barker

Written by

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. #InfluencerMarketing Writer for INC.


Make tomorrow better today.

Shane Barker

Written by

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. #InfluencerMarketing Writer for INC.


Make tomorrow better today.

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