Addressing Resentment in the Workplace: Strategies for Boosting Employee Engagement and Productivity

4 Strategies for Boosting Employee Engagement and Productivity: Addressing Resentment in the Workplace | The Enterprise World

When it comes to optimizing productivity, the most important thing is employee satisfaction because, in most cases, a happy workforce is a productive one. It is not unusual for anger and resentment to creep into the team culture, and if this does happen, it is vital that it is dealt with at the source as soon as possible. If resentment and anger are allowed to fester, they can impact your ability to lead, as well as your broader team’s impact. The role of leadership cannot be understated in driving sustainable Employee Engagement and Productivity levels.

First, we had the tech talent gap, then the big five layoffs, which made even the most secure tech experts feel vulnerable. In a time of instability within many industries, it is natural that anxiety can arise within the workplace, and this anxiety can quickly evolve into anger or resentment. Recognizing that the journey towards enhanced Employee Engagement and Productivity is ongoing, organizations committed to this trajectory engage in continuous feedback loops, adaptive policies, and innovative engagement models that collectively contribute to a workforce driven by enthusiasm and productivity.

However, despite these uncertainties, the technology industry is growing steadily, and there are plenty of technology jobs available for those who know where to look, as well as plenty of talent out there to fill available roles. As a manager, it is important that you take a closer look at your culture and your team’s well-being. This will not only help you to reduce any resentment that may be present, but it will also help you boost Employee Engagement and Productivity.

Here are 4 Strategies for Boosting Employee Engagement and Productivity:

1. Take a beat to check your emotions 

As a manager, it can be hard to keep your emotions in check, particularly if you are dealing with a difficult situation such as a resentful or disruptive member of staff. Unless anybody is in danger or the business is at risk, there is no need for you to act immediately. If you feel your temper rise and feel that there may be a risk of you reacting in anger to a situation, take a moment to regain control of your emotions.  Research consistently underscores the positive correlation between Employee Engagement and Productivity.

Being aware of your emotions is a good place to begin, as you may not be aware that you are reacting in a specific way because of your emotional investment in a situation. For example, if you have been unhappy at work and an employee comes to you to report that they are unhappy with the same things, you may be tempted to brush off their concerns and tell them to get on with it, just as you have.

However, as a manager, you need to take a step back; your dissatisfaction is different from theirs because you are responsible for your team. You need to evaluate their complaint objectively and examine what you can do about it. If you are unsure, then you need to take the issue to your line manager and take positive action.  

Dismissing, deflecting, or defending against employees’ dissatisfaction is a natural instinct, but it is one that employers need to resist. By avoiding these reactions, you can defuse your team’s issues and prevent resentment from building.  

2. Learn from your team 

Being dismissive, defensive, or deflective is as natural as fighting or fleeing, but if you take a second to take a step back and view the situation objectively, you may be able to see a way to learn from it. Organizations should invest in training and development to support both Employee Engagement and Productivity.

4 Strategies for Boosting Employee Engagement and Productivity: Addressing Resentment in the Workplace | The Enterprise World

Rather than trying to defuse their frustrations or distract them, ask questions so that you can get a full idea of what is making them resentful, and how they think the situation could realistically be improved. By providing resentful or angry team members with an appropriate space to air their issues and discuss alternative, positive solutions, you can go a long way toward reducing bubbling resentments.  Employee recognition programs contribute to a sense of value and improved Employee Engagement and Productivity.

3. Collaborate to achieve a solution 

As a manager, it can be frustrating to have to cope with all of your employees’ needs, as it often requires you to put your own needs and frustrations on hold. It is important for you and your employees to recognize that you don’t have a magic wand; you can’t just fix every problem.

However, you do have the capacity to listen, evaluate, and implement strategic, lasting changes that may make the workplace a better, happier, and more productive place for your team members. These small steps will go a long way to showing your team that you are listening to them and that you are being proactive in making improvements, and they will buy you time while you look for solutions to more complex problems.  

4 Strategies for Boosting Employee Engagement and Productivity: Addressing Resentment in the Workplace | The Enterprise World

If you collaborate with your team and look at the context of the problem, suggest suitable actions, and take time to examine the results and reflect on their success, your team members are more likely to feel that they are in control and are more likely to buy into any small changes that you make. 

4. Own your role in the dissatisfaction 

Acknowledging your role in a difficult situation can be difficult and will often seem counterintuitive. However, it is valuable for your team members to recognize that you are only a human, trying to do a job, just like they are. Your role in breeding resentment may not be active; it could be passive. But whether you are causing issues within your team, or you are blind to burgeoning problems, the result is still the same. Workplace environments that promote collaboration often lead to heightened Employee Engagement and Productivity.

If your team comes to you with a problem, or if you acknowledge a situation and decide to address it, thank your team for their honesty and acknowledge that they have helped you identify an area of weakness in your leadership, which you will improve upon in the future. This gives your team agency and helps them recognize you as someone who, while striving for excellence, is not infallible.  

4 Strategies for Boosting Employee Engagement and Productivity: Addressing Resentment in the Workplace | The Enterprise World

Dealing with resentment or dissatisfaction is an inevitable part of being a manager, but by approaching it proactively with humility and an open mind, most situations can be successfully managed. The best way to prevent resentment is to nurture a strong team that feels valued, understood, and appropriately rewarded for their endeavors. Finding a recruiter that you trust can go a long way toward helping you build that team.

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