Financial Data
Updated 21 Feb 2020


The true impact of disengaged employees

In scaling up, you must hire more people, but, how do you create an engaged workforce; and do you really know how disengaged employees influence your business success? 


Petra Laranjo , 18 July 2016  Share  0 comments  Print


All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

How much are your employees really costing you? In addition to salaries, medical aid contributions, UIF, pension funds and other costs, have you allotted a cost to unproductive, disloyal and demotivated employees? Many employers overlook these pertinent factors, which can be detrimental to your business success and longevity.   

According to Gallup’s ‘State of The Global Workplace’ report, only 13% of employees around the world are actively engaged in their jobs. When making a profit is important to you, which I’m assuming it is, ensuring that every investment is profitable and shows a favourable return is key to your business flourishing or, at the very least, staying afloat.

What many business owners overlook, or haven’t been able to manage properly, is the return on investment which their employees do or do not yield. Gallup’s report further states that engaged, purposeful, fulfilled and confident employees are 50% more productive, and companies in the top 10% of employee engagement surpass their competitors by 75% in earnings per share.

Related: Stand and command: The false-positive of leadership

Engaged employees outperform disengaged employees by 10% on customer ratings; 22% in profitability; 21% in productivity; show a lower staff turnover (25% in high-turnover organisations, 65% in low-turnover organisations); a decrease in absenteeism by 37% and a 41% reduction in quality defects.

Engaged -employee

What does an engaged employee look like and how can you create an environment of purposeful and engaged people? 

Firstly, don’t rely on employees knowing your company’s vision and values as a sign that they believe in and advocate them. Just because they can recite the values, which are proudly mounted against the entrance wall, does not mean that their thoughts, behaviours and actions are aligned with your business.

The idiom, ‘Actions speak louder than words’ rings true. Here’s why:

  1. Engaged employees actively work with you and are committed to helping your organisation thrive.
  2. They are intentional in their work, are able to find solutions & promote positive comradery.
  3. They will go the extra mile, looking for ways in which they can add value.
  4. They work hard on building lasting relationships both internally and externally and are quick to uplift their peers, excel and take pride in the work they deliver.
  5. They are focussed on adding value to each person they encounter and contribute to your growth and success.

And, on the flip side, disengaged employees do the bare minimum:

  1. They lack passion.
  2. They don’t achieve goals.
  3. They are indifferent and disinterested in doing anything outside of their job description.
  4. They’re not connected to the purpose of your company.
  5. They’re there for the pay cheque or associated status.

Related: Navigating the turbulent waters of entrepreneurship

Having goals and a clear vision is not enough. Having an intrinsic purpose, which others connect with is what propels positive action. Exceptional employees have a deep sense of their personal life’s purpose and, because of this, they are able to provide value wherever they are – both personally and in your business. 

Purposeful people live intentionally, are focussed, passionate, energetic, productive, inspired and have the ability to positively influence others. Invest in your employees’ internal wellbeing instead of relying on temporary external motivation and rewards.

Remember: ‘People are not lazy. They just don’t have goals that inspire them.’– Tony Robbins

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About the author


Petra Laranjo

Petra Laranjo is a leading speaker and consultant in the personal branding, employee engagement and client relation management arenas. She has just completed her first book titled, ‘Living On Purpose: The Key to Change Your Life and Impact Others.’ Fourteen years of experience across corporate and entertainment industries have offered her a unique perspective in coaching the thousands of individuals in over 60 companies over the years. She has received various nominations including the FNB/ROCCI Business Woman of the Year.

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