How to spot unhappy employees

My mom was going through a box of newspaper clippings she’d saved from 1998, and this was on the flip side of a local news story she’d clipped:

With a tight labor market forecast for at least the next year, many firms cannot afford to lose employees because of job dissatisfaction. Val J. Arnold of Personnel Decisions International lists the following warning signs of an unhappy worker:

  • Won’t go the extra mile. Content employees usually are eager to take on new challenges.
  • Focusing on problems. Unhappy employees typically find something to complain about instead of keying in on the positive.
  • Disengaged. Unhappy employees lack enthusiasm for the job. They may be more interested in office politics than objectives.
  • Lack of pwnership. Unhappy employees may see their jobs as a means to a paycheck and nothing more. Satisfied employees demonstrate commitment through hard work.

Things haven’t changed much in seven years, have they.

The question is, how have you changed as a manager in getting better dealing with unhappy employees?