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9 Examples of Employee Dissatisfaction

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Employee dissatisfaction is an employee who views their job in a negative light. This may be dealt with in a positive way by the employee by seeking to expand their role and contributions. Alternatively, it can lead to disengagement and neglect of duties. The following are illustrative examples of employee dissatisfaction.

Hygiene Factors

Hygiene factors are basic expectations an employee has for working conditions such as an safe environment and appropriate tools. When such expectations aren't met, satisfaction is typically low.


Employees who don't have enough work or who don't find their work fulfilling.

Ambiguity & Uncertainty

Some employees will thrive in conditions of ambiguity and uncertainty by stepping forward to define their own roles and lead. Others will find it stressful as they tend to sit and wait to be told what to do.

Change Fatigue

Employees who find change stressful or who have experienced a large number of failed changes such that they become cynical that things can be improved.

Office Politics

The political conflicts and negative behaviors that are common in many organizations. Some employees will develop personal resilience that allows them to engage in political battles without much stress. Others are sensitive to the smallest criticism or insult and vastly prefer roles that aren't political.

Cognitive Dissonance

People generally don't feel happy when they are doing things they don't believe in. A firm where employees truly buy-in to the mission is likely to be more happy than a firm that employees view as unethical, lost or pointless.

Tone At The Top

Inspiring leadership does wonders for employee satisfaction and ineffective or unethical leadership shoots it down.


Overworked employees are likely to be tired and physically drained leading to low life satisfaction in general. This can occur even if employees are working hard because they are passionate about their job.

Opportunity & Incentives

The sense that hard work, improvement and results will not be rewarded. For example, an employee that receives about the same bonus whether they work hard or not is more likely to drift towards disengagement.
Overview: Employee Dissatisfaction
An employee who views their job in a negative light.
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