Top Ways to Help a Discouraged Employee

Top Ways to Help a Discouraged Employee

Management rule dictates that a worker who has become discouraged won’t perform at the level he or she is capable of. Furthermore, they often grip and start to bring other employees down to their level. It is significant for a manager to know how to identify a discouraged employee and figure out how to assist them return to their former level of production.

Signs of a Discouraged Employee

There are several reasons a worker becomes discouraged and the symptoms can be as varied as the causes. Here are some of the signs to look out for to identify an unhappy worker in requirement of your help.

  • They complain that work is no longer fun
  • They overreact to minor hassles and are simply annoyed
  • They complain about being overwhelmed
  • They query the value of the tasks they perform
  • They are lethargic and often comment about feeling unfulfilled at work

Ways to Evaluate Why an Employee Is Discouraged

After you’ve identified a discouraged employee you’ve to seek out why they are dissatisfied. Very often workers are afraid to tell their boss, so you will require being persistent or innovative in your approach. Sometimes even the worker cannot pinpoint why they’re discouraged, which makes communication all that much more significant.

Here are few steps to take to ensure your team members ignore feeling discouraged:

  • Be direct and inquire them but pick a quiet time and keep it private.
  • When they make a comment about their job try to actually listen, which means “listening between the lines,” not just to the words coming out of their mouth.
  • Inquire their coworkers. The other members of your team may be more aware of the situation than you think.
  • If your efforts fail, inquire the Human Resources (HR) Department to get involved. Someone the worker sees as a neutral third party may have better luck than you did.
  • If all else fails, refer the employee to your Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) if your benefits plan includes one.


A discouraged employee may be suffering from burnout, might be suffering from a deficiency of confidence, or maybe bringing their outside to work.

Deployed on the cause, here are some common suggestions for assisting your employee:

  • If they are burned out, and you can’t reduce their workload, try to vary it. Give them different tasks or give them more latitude in regards to how they can complete their tasks.
  • If they lack confidence in performing their activities, give them tasks with some degree of difficulty but make them tasks they can do. Letting them be successful will motivate them to take on more challenging work.
  • Motivate them to talk with you. This will give them a safety valve for their frustrations and assist boost their confidence.
  • Do not be afraid to refer them to the EAP if they require professional help. Your job is to keep them a productive member of the team, not cure mental health problems.


Instead of recognizing a discouraged employee and figuring out the cause and cure for their condition, it is always preferable to stop discouragement.

Here are few things proactive steps to take to decrease the likelihood of a staff member becoming discouraged:

  • Keep your team encouraged. The bottom of this article contains links to particular articles on this topic.
  • Interact openly and freely with all your workers. Let them know what is going on in the company and inform them why their job is important. Whether in staff meetings or one-on-one explain to your staff how their efforts contribute to the overall success of the department and the company.
  • Listen, and then listen some more. Listen to what workers say about each other, about their jobs, about the department, and about the company in general. If an employee has a grip, let them know you’ll help them out to the extent that you can.
  • Get out of your office. The best way to keep workers motivated is to be among them. The time you spend out of your office and walking around the department will afford you the time to listen and observe and squelch a potential issue before it arises.