How much are unhappy workers costing you? And what can you do about it?

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Can discontented employees really affect your company’s profit? Absolutely yes.

While it might seem obvious that employee’s happiness has an impact on everything from productivity to company culture it’s not always realised that it can impact every portion of your business.

So why are employees unhappy? The number 1 reason found by Investors in People’s Jobs Exodus survey was lack of job satisfaction, 48% of people believe that they would be more satisfied if they moved jobs. The second highest reason was pay with 44% of people feeling like they are not paid enough for the role they are doing. And at number 3, 30% of people cited not feeling valued at work by their superiors made them feel unhappy in their current role.

So where are we at the moment? Well, 60% of UK workers are disengaged at work. This means they aren’t working to their fullest potential. This can either cost in low productivity or high turnover of staff. 46% of new hires fail within 18 months and 89% of these failures are due to poor culture fit. So an investment in company culture wouldn’t just improve employee fulfilment but workplace happiness would impact every level of the business. Engaged employees perform 20% better than their disengaged colleagues. Companies with engaged employees out perform up to 202% better. Happy employees have 31% higher productivity, 37% higher sales and 3x higher creativity.

So what is company culture and how do you go about changing it? Wikipedia lists company culture as company vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs and habits. This doesn’t really explain much. The most important difference to note is that company culture is something that is pre-existing in your company’s genetic code; it’s not something that your employees bring with them. Before you can make any changes you need to see what kind of culture is currently developing. Take a look around, how are your employees acting while working? Are there common behaviours, good or bad? What does this job mean to your employees, would they go elsewhere if they had the chance? These things aren’t your company’s culture they are symptoms of either a healthy or unhealthy culture.

From this you should be able to see how things are shaping up and detect any areas where employees seem regularly dissatisfied. Start with these key areas;
Clarity of Purpose – This is an easy one to begin with. It’s not enough for you to merely propose a rationale for your employees; they also have to buy into it. You need them to feel that what they are doing really matters and that it has a measurable impact on the success of the company.

Employee Engagement – This is how well you’ve prepared your employees to accomplish their purpose. If your employees don’t feel empowered to perform their roles to the best of their ability, you have an engagement problem.

Continued Learning – Businesses have no hope in lasting if their employees don’t continually improve themselves. Making sure they have the tools to evolve and develop will give them greater satisfaction.

The majority of people tend to take work where they can find it, they don’t carefully select a job after reviewing various company’s cultures. If they are lucky they will find somewhere that fits well with their personality and aspirations for the future. Obviously employers want to get the best out of their employees but if you look at it the other way; besides their wages, what are your employees getting out of it? Our job as a business owner is to make even someone’s third-choice feel like a place they want to be. Job satisfaction begins with job creators caring about the people in their charge.

If you need any advice on cultures, policies or just need a company MOT give us a call.

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