How your business could be losing money due to employees’ problems

Diverse costs of running a business of any size are inevitable. There will always be factors driving down your productivity, and your employees will not be riveted to their work desks at all times. Inefficiencies can and do occur, as for example when a worker takes a day off sick.

A myriad of issues

There is also a myriad of other, perhaps lesser-known, factors at work here besides the usual ones: Domestic abuse, litigation and workplace bullying are just a few of these, and they all have to be effectively tackled if you want your business to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Stress and insomnia

Workers who suffer from insomnia can miss as much as five days a year on top of the average absenteeism, and stress causes even more problems. Turnover and productivity are seriously affected, and the costs of compensation and related matters mean that employees with high levels of stress can end up costing almost half as much again as the average worker. Stress can also have an impact on the incidence of inappropriate behaviour and taking shortcuts on workplace tasks which may prove dangerous to staff and customers alike.


Verbal abuse and intimidating conduct by some employees can have invidious affects throughout an organisation and needs to be nipped in the bud. Workplace bullying can cost a large organisation millions of pounds a year in turnover, loss of productivity and legal fees.

Job interview

Use of smart phones

Whilst not generally classed as a problem, the use of smart phones in the office can be an annoyance that has a real impact on company productivity. Many employees claim that their phones actually make them better at their job, but the jury is out on this and it’s wise to put a few sensible limits on their use in the workplace.

Substance abuse

Productivity is seriously compromised, as you might expect, by the habitual use of drugs and alcohol. As well as in terms of lost profits, employees engaged in substance abuse typically arrive late or don’t show up at all; they may be involved in accidents on the business premises and are much more likely to create a disturbance when reprimanded or even questioned.

Introducing an oral fluid lab test is one simple and easy way of addressing the matter in the case of an employee who is suspected of abusing drugs or alcohol. The results will also stand up in court if it comes to that.


Every organisation needs to develop a suitable program that emphasises the need for a safe workplace for its employees, and spells out the individual worker’s responsibilities. The nature of the program will vary between companies and reflect factors such as resources, location, culture and any previous experience with the issues surrounding substance abuse for example.

Raising morale through incentives such as out-of-hours group activities and listening sympathetically to grievances are also important and can have a real impact on productivity.