People are amazing species. As team coaches, we have seen how people are either energised or drained by the people that surround them. Often our days are made or ruined because of another person’s response to something or someone. This is most certainly the case of our average working environment. Statistically two thirds of employees are unhappy at their work place and that naturally makes them miserable colleagues to work with. If you had to guess right now what would you estimate the cost of your employee’s misery to be? The cost can be in financial terms, health, family and friends, hobbies etc.

Perhaps you have never thought about it in financial terms and we wonder if this can be tangibly measured. I mean how does one put a price on a bad mood, a negative attitude or a disengaged employee? We can visibly see it, sense it and observe the impact on others, our team or even on ourselves. Negative energy is a hungry monster that spreads like wild fire throughout our organisations. Leaders seldom look at employee unhappiness as a cost in financial, emotional and productivity terms. Perhaps the following statistics will change your thinking?

Unhappy employees: Statistics that leaders should know

  • Take twice as much sick leave which equates to 6½ days in comparison to happy employees at 2½ days a year.
  • Consider staying in their job for another twelve months. Happy employees are long-term thinkers and intend to remain on average another five years. The cost to recruit, train and bring the new employee up to the performance and production level is both financially and time consuming.
  • Spend 25% time and effort on a task, the remaining 75% is idle non-productive time. In contrast happy employees spend 85% time on a task.
  • Feel energised at work feel 30% energised whilst happy employees are energised 75% of the time.

These figures of employee turnover, absenteeism, engagement or commitment all convert to performance and the company’s bottom line. There might be some number crunching required from the HR department, but the cost of misery can be calculated. Companies can save between 10 and 15% of their annual employee cost by focusing on resolving items that cause misery.

Money can’t buy happiness

But happiness sure saves money!

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