How to tell your boss you’re unhappy

It is often difficult finding the right way to approach your employer to tell them you are unhappy at work.

However, it is important to tell your employer when you are unhappy within your role because by having a conversation it can help them understand what you do and do not enjoy about your role, and you can work together to find a solution.

Why are you unhappy?

The first thing to identify would be considering why you are unhappy. Is it genuinely workplace-related, and is it something your employer can solve? If it’s regarding unfair treatment, then we have a separate blog on unfair dismissal here.

 Where you are unhappy, there is an element of personal responsibility; it’s worth thinking about what you can do personally or professionally to make sure you enjoy your role more. If ultimately, there is nothing which your employer could reasonably be expected to do to solve your issue, it may be worth exploring alternative roles.

Tips on how to tell your boss your unhappy

  • Schedule a meeting

Schedule a meeting with your employer to ensure that you’re not interrupted during your conversation. Also, let your employer know when you schedule the meeting that you would like to discuss some ideas you have to improve your current role. This will help them to approach the meeting with an open mind.

  • Identify why you’re unhappy and prepare what you are going to say

It is important that when you are telling your employer that you are unhappy at work, why it is your unhappy and make it clear the specific reasons why you are unhappy with in your job. This is why it is important that you prepare what you’re going to say before you have a meeting with your employer to ensure you explain how you feel in a clear way and that the meeting can be constructive rather than negative.

  • Bring solutions

As well as raising your concerns with your employer as why you feel unhappy within your role, it is important that you offer solutions so it looks like you are taking an active role in making the situation better, for example asking if you can be more flexible in your hours to ensure you have the correct work/life balance.

So, for each point, you could prepare an idea for improvement. For every point that you make about why you are unhappy in your current situation, offer a solution. This will help you stay focused on problems that can be resolved and keep the conversation constructive.

  • Unsure of the solutions? – Ask

If you don’t have any ideas for how to solve the problem you can use the meeting as an opportunity to ask your employer for any ideas they may have. This is particularly useful if the problem you’re having involves another co-worker.

If they don’t or if you have tried those approaches already, you can brainstorm other ideas together.

If once you have had your meeting with your employer about your concerns with the role and after a period of time nothing has been put in place and you are still unhappy at work, you could raise a grievance as a way of resolving any issues internally to ensure active steps are taken.

If you wish to raise a grievance with your employer, Thrive are happy to help so please do get in touch.


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