The important thing is knowing whether your workplace is unhappy, and, knowing how to identify and address the causes.
Tell tale signs of an unhappy workplace are staff withdrawing from social encounters, increasing their use of personal leave and more frequent resignations. One individual’s actions can undermine staff members’ ability to engage and enjoy work, they may feel isolated, like they are a target and actively avoid interactions.
This picture is not uncommon and managers can observe the signs, but not realise the impact, not know how to take action or fear being blamed. If bullying and manipulative behaviour is the cause of unhappiness, then staff probably feel their workplace is unsafe and unpredictable. Or worse, the manager may also be a victim of the manipulative behaviour and bullying and be fearful of tackling the particular individual. In some cases the manager is primed by the individual to place undue trust in him or her which further alienates staff from avenues for support.
Staff need to know they are not isolated, that they can share their experience with a manager and that action can be taken. Staff have to work together, agree on how they will manage problem behaviours rather than react. Every incident should be spoken about and shared. Managers have to speak to the individual and require different behaviour.
In almost every case the manager will need support to build group confidence and carry out a behaviour management plan. An on-site assessment can help identify the cause of unhappiness.
A combination of employee assistance with mental health planning in the workplace by ACT Curious EAP, offers managers and staff a way forward and optimism to achieve a healthy happy workplace.