THE BLOG
05/18/2016 04:00 pm ET Updated May 19, 2017

How Unhappy Employees Can Cost Your Company Millions

Unhappy employees cost companies worldwide billions of dollars per year in lost revenues, settlements and various other damages. The loss of revenue can send well-known companies into financial distress, with some filing for bankruptcy. Employee negligence due to dissatisfaction with their employer leads to much of the financial losses suffered by major brands and companies of all sizes.

Decreased Productivity

If an employee is not happy with his or her job, it will show in his or her productivity. Employees putting off work means that they simply do not want to do it, so they will procrastinate until the very last moment and rush through completing a task. This leads to poor quality control standards, unsafe products and dangers to consumers.

It is vital that supervisory staff stays on-top of the production staff. Consider offering a weekly anonymous poll to employees. Their answers will let superior staff know where they stand on being satisfied with their jobs on multiple levels. Following the feedback from employees, companies can make changes to increase productivity, boost morale and improve quality assurance standards to ensure that safe products, happy employees, increased sales and happy customers are all reported.

Injuries Caused by Neglect

It is common for unhappy employees to neglect to complete tasks. This can lead to unsafe buildings, wet floors and dangerous displays that can injure guests or other employees. Injuries caused by neglect, whether directly or indirectly, tarnishes a company's reputation and can immediately impact its revenues. Cases of serious injury or death, caused by company negligence on any level, often results in hefty settlements being paid out to those affected. This can damage a company's financial stability and send the company into a financial downward spiral.

Low Salaries

Salaries below the median for a specific role in an industry is a common cause for unhappy employees. A low salary increases turnover rates by 100 to 300-percent, with roughly 46-percent of newly hired employees leaving employment within the first 18-months. Employees should be proactive in these instances and approach their employer about their dissatisfaction with their salaries. When an employee is deserving of a higher-salary or poses promises for increased efficiency/productivity, a salary increase may be awarded to increase career satisfaction.

Bruised Brand Reputations

It does not take much to bruise a brand's reputation. Majority of the time, it stems from an action made by a displeased employee. One adverse comment or action can lead the negative behavior to digital status, where it can then go viral. The more exposure a negative event gets, the worse it can be for the brand's reputation. It is important for spokespersons/brand liaisons/ethics officers to discredit the action, acknowledging that the actions are not part of the brand standard and alert concerned parties that necessary actions have taken place. This can help rebuild the small bruising and financial loss from negative exposure rather quickly.

Loss of Revenue

When an employee is not satisfied with his or her job, for any reason, it results in a loss of revenue in some aspect for your company. Sales people will not work as hard to upsell, close deals and rebut those that turn down an offer. Suggesting additional items that work with a planned purchase also stops. Employees that stop caring about their job are only there to make ends meet for their families. Their work ethic weakens and their interactions with other employees, supervisory staff and customers can seem routine and almost robotic. Essentially, each customer just becomes a number, not a person. This transcends to the consumer, the brand's reputation as consumers post publicly about poor experiences and eventually impacts sales and revenues.

Decreased Company Loyalty

When employees are unhappy, their loyalty to the brand they are employed with decreases. They are less likely to back their company and only offer neutral commentary. As others in the company catch-on to one or a few toxic, unhappy employees displaying their frustrations, it lowers morale throughout the entire company. It can be difficult for a brand to dig out from low-morale, but a change in supervisory staff may be the answer.

Final Thoughts

In order to remain strong in an industry, employees have to be kept happy. Your staff is what keeps your business going. Your staff drives consumers to interact, purchase and recommend a business. In the event that you notice that morale, productivity, efficiency and revenues have decreased, it is time to focus and call a company-wide meeting. This is an ideal solution for finding out why employees are unhappy and how your company can fix the issue to turn things around.