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  • Neil

What's the cost of employee frustration?

I've been thinking about this quite a bit recently...

What's the cost to a business if employees are frustrated...when they spend time talking about the things they believe are wrong with the organisation, rather than acting for the betterment of the business? I did a quick bit of research and it turns out that there are numbers for this. In the US, it is estimated that Employee Frustration costs businesses between $450 and $550 billion per annum.

Here are a few more statistics on this:

  • 51% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged (Gallup)

  • Disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually (The Engagement Institute)

  • Disengaged workers cause massive losses in productivity – between $450 and $500 billion a year (Mental Health America)

  • It can cost 33% of an employee’s salary to replace him/her (HR Dive)

  • 75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable (HR Dive)

  • 40% of employees leave their job because they are unhappy with it (IBM)

  • 20% of employees left their job because they were unhappy with the organization (IBM)

I summise that there are 2 outcomes of note which are worth expanding on;

- Talk like this is contageous; it spreads to other people and the mood degenerates into general negativity. New or younger staff members may be more influenced by this behaviour than others, especially if it is their mentors talking like this. Left unchecked, this is likley to spread like wildfire and there is a threat to the culture of the business. I can't really see anything good coming from that situation.

- People leave; if your change leaders are genuinely frustrated and they don't believe that they can implement change, they will eventually vote with their feet. The result is that the very people needed to take the business forward have gone. Perhaps that also means that your organisation is being "dummed down"; you're left with people who are happy with the status quo, who don't challenge and who don't want to change.

So we need to think of ways where we can address this and turn it into a positive behaviour which can help the business move forward. I have a voice in my head, and I am not sure where I heard it first, but it is a mantra that I personally subscribe to; "don't bring me problems, bring me solutions..."

I believe that frustration builds when we don't think we are being listened to - and that comes from an inability to have a conversation that is heard? So if we can provide a mechanism which empowers people to describe the problem and the solution to the problem, in a way that can be easily understood, are we in danger of having a solution to a multi-billion dollar problem? I think so...and it just so happens that I believe I have a way of delivering that capability into a business. I can enable people to quickjly describe what they are seeing in a way that will be understood, connecting that to business value and identifying the cost of the frustration - and then let them model the solution. It's quick and it's easy and it can be done by anyone.

Interested in knowing more? Drop me a line and let's chat.

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