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How Employees Respond to Job Dissatisfaction

How Employees Respond to Job Dissatisfaction
Job dissatisfaction occurs when an employee does not feel content in their job. People have expectations of what their job should be like. When these expectations are not met, it can lead to feelings of disappointment and frustration, resulting in job dissatisfaction. Job dissatisfaction can arise from a variety of reasons, such as:

- Being underpaid.
- Limited career growth.
- Lack of interest.
- Poor management.
- Unsupportive boss.
- Lack of meaningful work.
- Lack of opportunities for growth or incentives for meaningful work.
- Poor work-life balance.
The EVLN model (Exit, Voice, Loyalty, Neglect) identifies four different ways that employees may respond to dissatisfaction:

1- Exit

Behavior directed toward leaving the organization, including looking for a new position as well as resigning, it usually follows “shock events,” such as when your boss treats you unfairly. These shock events generate strong emotions that energize employees to think about an alternative employment.


A constructive response, refers to any attempt to change, rather than escape from, the dissatisfying situation, such as recommending ways for management to improve the situation, or it can be more confrontational, by filing formal grievances. In the extreme, some employees might engage in counterproductive behaviors to get attention and force changes in the organization.


The most widely held view is that “loyalists” are employees who respond to dissatisfaction by patiently waiting (“suffer in silence”) for the problem to work itself out or get resolved by others.


Passively allowing conditions to worsen, including chronic absenteeism or lateness, reduced effort, and Increased error rate.

How Employees Respond to Job Dissatisfaction5

Which of these four do employees use most?

That depends on many situational factors (‘macro’- environmental, ‘micro’ – company) and personal factors (age, gender, educational level, experience, ..).
Employees can use one or more EVLN alternatives; depending on the person and situation. Individual values, beliefs, culture and past experience are relevant in order to define which type of behaviors employees are more susceptible to engage.

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