The real cost of your disengaged workforce

It’s the time of year when many managers are frantically preparing, editing and justifying their budgets to corporate leadership. In a time where increased efficiency and cost reduction is paramount, it may seem like employee engagement is a budget line item of luxury. Ask yourself, “What am I budgeting for employee recognition?” Or, better stated – “How much will it cost me if I don’t?”

If you believe Gallup, seventy-percent of the American workforce is made up of disengaged employees. In hard dollars, that figure results in $450-550 billion lost in productivity for (US companies alone) annually. That figure takes into account many variables, such as wasted time, poor service, high turnover, recruitment costs, increased new hire training, and so on.

Your employees can be your biggest advocates if you take care of them and, fortunately, there are ways to combat the costs of disengaged employees if you understand what they are, how they affect your business and steps you can take to turn them into brand ambassadors.

Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and will ultimately move the organization forward.

Disengaged employees, on the other hand, are essentially “checked out”. They’re sleepwalking through their workday and may be putting in the time, but lack passion and energy.

Lastly, actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work – they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish. They aren’t just unhappy, but they’re aggressively lowering morale and productivity levels. These people can be toxic in your organization.

Creating a culture of recognition

When it comes to company culture, it’s important to share a vision across your organization. Operate as a team, and ensure leadership is involved. Did you know…People are likely to share a good experience with three people, but will share a bad one with 10 or more?

Actively disengaged employees affect your service and brand

Building an employer brand is no small feat – it can take a while to build. Don’t let all of your hard work to collapse from the inside by mismanaging disengaged employees.

When an employee is actively disengaged, the snippets they share with the world can be neutral and aren’t necessarily always negative, but they still aren’t the positive expressions needed to make your company stand out from the competition.

In competitive industries, it’s important to stand out from the competition to gain a recruiting advantage. Do struggle with high turnover? Studies show 84% would consider leaving their current jobs if offered another role with a company that had an excellent brand reputation.

The true cost to your bottom line

According to a CareerBuilder study, 69% of employers say they’ve been negatively affected by a bad hire in the past year. Forty-one percent believe this cost their organization over $25,000, while 24% said it cost them more than $50,000.

If your disengaged employees are sleepwalking through the day, then they’re potentially also costing your company billions. Ultimately, recognizing and motivating your people will leave you with happier customers, increased creativity levels and reduced absenteeism. Engaged employees are fundamental to the success of your business.

The costs to your culture, brand and bottom line aren’t worth it when there are simple actions you can take to reengage employees. It can take some time to plan your budget accordingly but the return on your corporate investment is well worth it