the cost of disengagement
27 October 2022

The actual cost of disengaged employees

Read Time: 2 min Author: Pieter Hofkens

Employee disengagement is best understood in contrast to its counterpart - employee engagement. While engaged employees are personally invested in their company’s success, disengaged workers are simply counting down the days to their next paycheck. 

Defined by Gallup as “unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to coworkers”, disengaged employees are more likely to call in sick, be late to work, miss deadlines, and not meet their performance goals. 

It goes without saying that this complacency is costing you. But how much exactly? 



According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Reports disengaged employees are costing the world 7.8 trillion in lost productivity. That's equal to 11% of the global GDP. 

That seems like an astronomical number, and it is. So let's break it down. 

Disengaged employees have an average of 37% higher absenteeism, 18% lower productivity and 15% lower profitability. Translate that into money, and you're looking at a cost of 34% of a year salary, or €3,400 for every €10,000 they make.

With an average year salary of 47,000, a single disengaged employee is costing you around €16,000 per year. Raise the annual salary to €60,000 and this individual is costing you €20,400 per year.

Now apply this formula to an entire organization, and it really gets scary. Say you lead a small business that employs around 250 people. Knowing that, on average, only 21% of employees are actively engaged, we can calculate that around 198 of those 250 employees are disengaged. That means your employee complacency can cost you up to $3,164,040. When was the last time you saw that on your organizations finance report?

Sh*t just got real now, didn't it?



The first step is acknowledging the (global) problem of disengagement, and committing to taking proactive steps to counter it. Because if an organization's leadership is complacent about creating a great place to work, then why should they have the expectation that their employees will be anything but complacent about their day-to-day responsibilities?

Once your entire leadership team has acknowledged the problem, you can start taking some highly effective actions. Because engagement is not a characteristic of employees, but rather an experience created by organizations, managers and team members. With the right internal practices, employee engagement levels can go up significantly, with 20% or more. For all you numbers-lovers: a 20% increase in employee engagement can save that same small business-owner €800,000 per year!

So how can you increase employee engagement?

👉 In our eBook 'How an engaged workforce drives a company forward', we've compiled tips&tricks, quick wins and best practices from high-performing companies in the field of employee engagement, for both the short and long term. Definitely check it out: it's free to download!


Gallup facts



The Meet Roger platform is designed to its core, to empower employee engagement. In addition to the built-in features to pro-actively engage employees, Roger also provides an extensive data dashboard to measure the engagement levels within your organization, per location, division, department, etc.. 

Book your free demo today, and let us show you how it works. No strings attached!




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