Disengaged Workers Costs the U.S. Economy About $300 Billion A Year

© Copyright 2006 Pamela Hollister
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Over 50 years of Gallup research and scientific studies back a recent study conducted by the Gallup Organization that states negativity costs the U.S. economy $300 billion a year – and that’s a conservative estimate.

Focusing on someone’s strengths and giving recognition for performance is critical to success. The new Gallup study found that when managers focused on employees’ strengths, 61% of the employees were engaged in the work and only 1% was actively disengaged – complaining about their jobs, sniping at their co-workers and bad-mouthing the company.

When managers focused on employees’ weaknesses, only 45% of the employees were engaged in work and 22% were actively disengaged. This demonstrates how our relationships with one another affect the bottom line of the organizations we own, work for, and pay taxes to.

Gallup asked employees to name, in their own words, the most important factor in maintaining a sense of comfort and well-being at work. Responses were varied, but the most common had to do with communication and interpersonal dynamics among workers:
  • Open Communication – 14%
  • Respect – 11%
  • Positive relationships with co-workers/getting along with everyone – 9%
  • Teamwork – 6%
  • Trust – 6%
Employees are likely to feel the greatest motivation for performance is a workplace environment designed to foster open, respectful and positive relationships among co-workers.

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