The Impact of Dissatisfied Employees

by Ruth Mayhew; Updated September 26, 2017

Employee satisfaction is important to your company's overall success. The impact of dissatisfied employees can range from high turnover and low productivity to a loss in revenue and poor customer service. While a company's philosophy, mission and values are fundamental to success, human capital is an organization's most valuable asset. Your organization's human capital -- its employees -- must be fully engaged and satisfied to keep your business running.

Workforce Productivity

Dissatisfied employees tend to spend less time focusing on their job duties and more time discussing with family, friends and coworkers why they are unhappy at work. Lack of motivation and attention to detail are the results of dissatisfied employees, which translates to low productivity. Consequently, companies whose employees' productivity levels are low also experience loss of profits. Satisfied employees make the most of their work time, producing quality products and services.

Customer Retention

Customer loyalty declines when employees are dissatisfied with their jobs. Employee satisfaction is one of the points HCL Technologies CEO Vineet Nayar explains in his Forbes website article titled "Why I Put My Employees Ahead of My Customers." Nayar states that "Employees First, Customers Second is a management approach. It is a philosophy, a set of ideas, a way of looking at strategy and competitive advantage." Satisfied employees, according to Nayar, are excited about doing their jobs. Employees who enjoy what they do -- especially employees in the customer service arena -- are more likely to interact with customers and clients in a much more positively and cheerfully. An oft-used business tenet is that happy employees equal happy customers.

Employee Turnover

When employees are terminated or resign, turnover analyses reveal that overall dissatisfaction is the cause for poor performance or the decision to leave. Consumed with looking for work that motivates them and finding a company that appreciates their efforts, employees slip into patterns of poor performance or simply quit. Turnover is costly. As turnover rates increase, dissatisfaction can spread throughout the workplace, encouraging others to find employment elsewhere. Employee retention, a workplace measurement related to turnover, can be extremely difficult in an environment where employees are frequently dissatisfied with their jobs or working conditions.

Business Reputation

Employees are the face of your organization, which means your business reputation depends on employees' behavior, actions and performance. Improving employee satisfaction can work wonders for the way your business is viewed by competitors, customers, clients and people interested in working for you. Employee dissatisfaction impacts your ability to reach certain business markets as well as your ability to recruit qualified applicants. Business failure can be linked to variables such as financial distress or economic hardship; however, employees who are dissatisfied with their jobs and the company they work for can have a tremendous impact on your reputation and success.

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.