The Cost of Unhappy Employees and How Companies Can Avoid It

Happiness at work matters. When employees are comfortable and engaged at their workplace, they are productive in return. Employee engagement is the emotional and functional commitment an employee has to the company they work for. Employee happiness, or engagement, has been an important topic over the years, but do companies really understand the impact it can have on them? The truth is that unhappy employees can cost companies thousands of dollars, so it is imperative for employers to do their best to keep employees happy. Dale Carnegie and MSW did a study on over 1500 employees, and they found some very interesting statistics. Did you know that only 29% of employees are engaged, 45% are not engaged, and 26% are actively disengaged? This means that a total of 71% of employees are not fully engaged at work! The following are some of the main causes for unhappy and disengaged employees and how to resolve them:

Faulty Onboarding Process

It is important to note that every new hire in your organization is onboarded properly because every employee has experiences that form from his or her initial impression of the company. Whether or not those impressions will make employees give their all to the company is the real question. Having a good onboarding process will help your employees stay engaged and productive. With today’s technology there is no need for employees to fill out dozens of forms. With Dominion, employees can fill out forms ahead of time, from the convenience of their own home, as long as they have access to the internet. This allows the orientation process to be easier, and employers can focus on training new hires, rather than wasting time waiting for them to fill out all the required paperwork. Now, employees can learn more about the company and their new position. Having an easy to use onboarding platform makes the process easier not only for the employer, but the employee as well. 

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Job Expectations are Unmet

When people apply to a company, they apply because they have read the job descriptions and believe they might be a good match. They read the job qualifications and requirements, and what skills will be necessary to perform the job. If during the initial recruitment these are not accurately set out, this may later cause issues and confusion. The job role should always be advertised accurately and transparently in order to avoid confusing potential candidates. If a candidate is hired in but they are not using their key skills, or not building new skills, they may start feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Their stress level will increase, causing them to be disinterested or disengaged, and it may even impact their home life. This will also have an impact on the company, as the employee will not be able to complete certain tasks or meet deadlines, and turnover will increase. 

In order to avoid this issue, the HR department has to be as transparent during the recruitment process as possible. Employers should be looking for candidates who fit the company’s culture, not just for the role they will be taking over, but also their team, department, and organization in general. During the interview process, be sure to accurately describe what the position is, what the company does, and give examples of tasks and different responsibilities associated with the role. Another good way to be transparent and accurate during the recruitment process is to provide examples of typical situations and challenges, this will give insight to the company’s environment. Before the end of the recruitment process, always give candidates a chance to ask any questions they may have. 

Inadequate Resources

Certain roles require specific resources. For example, somebody working in the IT department needs a good and fast working computer, since that is where they spend most of their time. A graphic designer needs a computer that has access to specific design software, such as Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc. Individuals or teams who are not provided with software, equipment, or the necessary information to fulfill their tasks will eventually begin to disengage. Since they will not be able to complete their tasks in a timely or effective manner, their results will start showing and will hamper access to bonuses or a promotion. The employee's credibility and reputation will also be affected, again, causing them stress. Employees will start feeling undervalued and frustrated, they will feel disempowered, and they will eventually burnout. This will have a direct impact in the company, since quality will decrease, customer satisfaction will be at risk, and wastage will increase. 

To avoid this issue, employers should make it a priority to provide the resources required to meet goals and objectives. Ensure that all the information is up to date, required softwares are installed where they need to be, and that new hires have all the resources they need to do their job. If the equipment or other resources are not affordable, employers should recognize that this may compromise the desired outcome in the future. Management should always be on top of things. If at any time they notice a certain department or team slowing down, or not meeting deadlines, they should meet with them and ask if anything is needed. 

Lack of Training

In order for an employee to perform to the best of their ability, they need to be trained properly. Managers should clearly explain what is expected from the employee, they need to train them on how to use certain equipment or software, and they should always challenge the employee in order to help them build new skills. When an employee is not properly trained, they may feel confused and may even harm themselves, if they are working with equipment they haven’t been taught how to use. They will not have a clear idea of what is required of them, they will feel undervalued or taken for granted, they will mistrust management, and their interest and engagement will decrease. When there is lack of training, there is an impact on the company. Performance is not optimal, quality is compromised, safety may become an issue, and customer service may decline. 

Companies should ensure that managers are measuring, managing, and developing individuals in their teams or departments in order to avoid this. Always provide guidance and structure to your employees. Teach them how to use all the equipment they will be using (if they don’t know how to), teach them about safety procedures, and just make sure they know everything they need to know in order to do their job. Always ask if they have any questions before they start their job, and let them know that they can contact their supervisor or manager if they are not sure how to do something and require more guidance. 

Lack of Advancement

Every company should have career growth opportunities. When employees get used to doing the same thing every day, they can get bored. Having growth opportunities within the company will encourage your employees to challenge themselves and build new skills. People are always wanting to increase their credibility and have things to add to their resume, and they want to become more experienced. When there are no growth opportunities within a company, employees become too comfortable with their job, which can sometimes result in decreased productivity and low quality products or services. Employees may even begin looking for other job opportunities; somewhere they can grow and be challenged more. This will have a big impact on the company, as staff morale will decline, people will feel less committed to the organization, and turnover will increase. Also, dissatisfaction may cause burnout, absenteeism may increase, customers will complain more, etc. 

To avoid this, companies should look for candidates internally before recruiting externally. If there are no candidates, they should explain that to employees, but always be sure you let them know you are looking within the company first. Managers should periodically review internal placements to be sure that employees are happy where they are, or to find out whether they want to do more in a different department. 

Sources:
https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/cost-of-unhappy-employees-infographic
https://www.glassdoor.com/employers/blog/the-cost-of-a-disengaged-employee/
http://www.usp-bd.com/11leadingcausesofdisengagement.pdf