Unhappy Workers Cost US Firms $1.9 Trillion

Unhappy Workers Cost US Firms $1.9 Trillion
Photo by whoislimos / Unsplash

Workers' satisfaction has not improved since the world stopped four years ago. The pandemic awakened the disease. The symptoms multiplied later through all kinds of phenomena from the US that still impact the labor market.

First, the rout known as the 'great resignation' took place, where millions of people left their jobs. Then came the so-called 'silent resignation', in which workers limited themselves to strictly adhering to the functions of the position, and more recently its short version called 'Mondays at a minimum'.

All of them have as a common denominator the lack of motivation that has generated a very high cost for business . American companies have lost about 1.9 trillion dollars since then due to the lack of productivity of their employees.

This is the high price of job unhappiness revealed by research conducted by Gallup. After a decade of steadily increasing worker engagement in their tasks, the peak was reached in 2020. It's been all downhill since then. More than half of the employees of the world's leading economic potential say that they do not know what is expected of them.

The consequences of this malaise damage productivity, affect sales and profits, and make it increasingly difficult to retain the workforce. Worker motivation is related to "many different outcomes that are important to organizations," explains Jim Harter, chief scientist for labor practices at Gallup.

The research paints a bleak picture of the workforce on the other side of the Atlantic. Only a third of those surveyed claim to be committed to their work , while half acknowledge that they make minimal effort, demonstrating that the so-called 'silent resignation' has spread like a plague.

The overall impact of this dissatisfaction on the global economy amounted to $8.8 trillion, according to the company. This cost of decreased productivity has been calculated by estimating its impact on the dollar value of a disengaged employee and then extrapolating it to the workforce.

Harter, author of several books on this problem, the latest under the title 'Culture shock: an unstoppable force is changing the way we work and live', asks companies to once and for all assume that involving workers is more beyond "doing good things for people ." Employees want to "feel that what they do at work connects to something bigger than themselves," he says.

To remedy this, the expert suggests conducting individual weekly check-ins and guidance on how to work with your coworkers. Because when employees are told how to collaborate with each other, role clarity increases by 50% to 80%.

This type of strategy is especially necessary for younger workers because they are much more likely to change jobs in search of a more satisfying work-life balance .

The change in expectations of those under 35 years of age is evident, which is why Harter issues a warning. "They prefer to have a kind of boss who is a coach rather than a manager and who really thinks about their development," explains Harter. "They are demanding work to improve their life, not to make it a separate thing."

Read more