Unhappy Employees Are Costing Your Business Money: How Employers Can Make a Difference To Workforce Happiness This International Workers’ Day
The first of May is International Workers’ Day. The day is also called May Day and Labor Day, and has become an internationally recognised day focusing on the workforce, workers rights, and ethical employment. The day is celebrated in a variety of ways which can include public holidays, gifted time off from work, and recognising employee achievements.
Why is it important to celebrate the workforce?
Despite the overwhelming research, evidence, and studies, employee recognition and satisfaction initiatives are still low on the priority list for many organizations around the world. According to Workhuman, only 19% of managers and leaders say recognition is a priority at their company, and a paltry 36% of employees they surveyed reported their organization having some kind of recognition system in place.
The positive benefits for companies who have these systems in place are irrefutable. In a survey conducted by Bonusly, 63% of respondents said that they are unlikely to look for a new job if they felt recognized. Forbes has reported that lack of appreciation leads to lack of motivation, impacting the bottom line as employees are likely to be 46% less productive and have 37% poorer work performance.
The cost of an unhappy workforce is eye-watering. Entrepreneur reports that unsatisfied workers costs the USA $550 billion a year. Forbes reports that disgruntled employees have higher absenteeism and lower profitability, accounting for a loss of 34% of a person’s salary, or in monetary terms, $3,400 for every $10,000 they make.
Ultimately, your employees should get fair recognition because they deserve it. Your workforce is critical to your organization’s success – and your staff work hard each day to achieve the corporate goals. Whether that’s by keeping the shared facilities clean, answering the phones, or managing the finances, each individual plays their part in keeping the business moving forward.
According to renowned organizational psychologist Andrew Naber, the average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. That’s the equivalent of over ten years of their life. Now compare this with the average number of 368 days a person spends socializing with friends, and it’s a startling contrast.
It’s not just about celebrating the big things, either. Gartner’s 2021 HR Survey, ‘Support Well-Being in 2021 and Beyond’ found that something as simple as marking a person’s life events in the workplace leads to a 23% increase in employees’ mental health.
What can you do about it?
Based on the research, it’s highly likely that 81% of people reading this article aren’t prioritizing employee satisfaction in their workplace. So here at EduPloyment we have created a guide on how you can start making positive changes to your organization today.
- Acknowledge the issue
Before you can implement changes, you must recognize that you may have an employee engagement and satisfaction issue within your workplace. Only then can you take the steps needed to understand the issue further. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Company satisfaction surveys
- One-to-one meetings
- Internal focus groups
- Suggestion boxes
- Be transparent
This isn’t a witch-hunt. Make sure your employees feel comfortable sharing feedback with you. Explain why you are collecting the data and what you plan to use it for – this will also help you to get honest feedback, and not just what employees think you want to hear.
After you’ve collected and analyzed the data, share the findings with your workforce. Ask yourself:
- What’s looking good, and what can you build on
- Where are the areas that need improvement, and can you group them into themes
- How are you going to address the issues
- When do you want / need to see change
- Share responsibility
Create a task force or committee with a mix of employees from across the business at different seniority levels. Work with the team to identify the most pressing issues, have them suggest potential solutions, and lead on specific solutions or related projects.
- Communicate and get buy-in
The worst thing you can do when working to solve a problem affecting a large number of people, is to solve it without their input. Communicate the progress of your task force, share updates, and create opportunities for feedback from the wider workforce. For example, you could present your employees with two potential solutions to an issue and get them to vote on their preferred option. This way, when the plan is implemented you already have the support from the majority.
- Identify your quick wins
Aim to take your survey data and identify the issues that can be solved very quickly and easily versus those that may take time. Showing your workforce that you have responded to their feedback and taken immediate action will help assure employees that words lead to action.
- Get the balance right
No company has infinite time, money, and resources to dedicate to employee engagement initiatives. Equally, employees are unlikely to want to hear about costly two-year projects – particularly if pay increases haven’t been especially generous. Being realistic from the off-set will reduce the chances of failure or further employee dissatisfaction.
- Don’t stop when you’re done
Your employee engagement programme should be a continuous cycle of feedback, improvement, and measurement. Many companies conduct annual surveys, empower managers to get anecdotal feedback from their team, and encourage employees to not only think about what’s wrong but also to innovate and share new ways of doing things or suggesting new product ideas for the business.
So, in summary, when it comes to choosing to recognize and celebrate your employees on International Workers’ Day or any day, can you afford not to?
As a social impact enterprise, EduPloyment is a global online recruitment platform empowering skilled and unskilled workers with English and fair work, thereby uplifting them and their dependents into a lifetime of upskilling and employment.
We know that when an underprivileged person is educated, employed, and empowered, they will be uplifted from their current economic state. Their family members and dependents, which number seven on average, are also uplifted and have a better chance of breaking the cycle of economic struggle. EduPloyment’s purpose is to deliver this empowerment to every Candidate and perpetuate this ripple effect to their communities.
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