It is shocking to contemplate, but studies have shown that 85% of people actively hate their jobs, but remain in the role despite their unhappiness. While this is understandable – everyone needs to earn a living – it does nevertheless hint towards an underlying issue: people don’t feel comfortable expressing dissatisfaction with their job or workplace concerns to their employer.

While many people simply dislike their job because it’s a job – they dislike the routine, the early starts, the boring commute – many people dislike their jobs due to issues with the environment itself; stress, an unsafe workplace, or poor scheduling. If you dislike your job, but feel changes could improve it, learning to speak to your employer about your issues could be hugely beneficial.

A legitimate fear

It would be wonderful if we could say: “tell your boss when you’re unhappy! They should fix it! There will be no repercussions for speaking up!”, the sad truth is, we can’t. Some employers do have a tendency to take action against those that speak out, practicing a policy of: “if you don’t like it, work elsewhere”.

Unfortunately, this means that you have to be very careful when contemplating discussing issues with your employer. This means, first and foremost, that you have to judge your employer: are they open-minded, willing to discuss things? Or is their attitude far more aligned with the “take it or leave” attitude mentioned above? If it’s the latter, then you may be best seeking alternative employment – or at least being willing to do so if all goes wrong.

However, if you feel you can raise any workplace issues with your employer, then here are a few things to keep in mind when doing so.

#1 – Be direct

If you are going to make a complaint, make a complaint. There is little point in approaching this conversation in a half-hearted manner; make it clear you have an issue and address it head-on. If this level of assertiveness does not come naturally to you, it’s worth reading through useful tips, such as those provided by,  to help with this.

#2 – Have an idea for changes

Raising a complaint without suggesting how it can be resolved is not particularly useful, so always have in mind a few solutions that your employer can consider. This could include arguments in favor of remote working; measures that could ensure the workplace is safer; or even asking for new staff to be recruited to lighten workloads – by having a remedy in mind, you incentivise your employer to action your solution simply because it’s readily available.

#3 – Mention the benefits to your employer

It is always useful to include reasons why you feel changes would be beneficial to you, but also to your employer. You could outline that you suspect a change would increase productivity, or explain how improving workplace safety would at least reduce the likelihood of employee family members having to contact the likes of to discuss a lawsuit that they would bring against the company in the case of disaster in an unsafe workplace. If you frame changes as good for the employer, simple self-interest can help.

In conclusion

If an element of your job is impacting you in terms of your own well-being or sense of physical safety, then discussing the matter with your employer is a sensible choice – provided you believe they will be receptive. If you suspect they will at least listen to your concerns, the tips above can ensure that the discussion is as productive as possible.


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