Employee Engagement / 4 minute read

The impact of disengaged employees

Written by Katie Perez

15 January 2021

Disengaged employees are thought to cost the UK  £52-70 billion per year in lost productivity, with  70% of the UK workforce  claiming to feel disengaged maybe it is time to implement or re-evaluate your employee engagement strategy. 

Before you go about this it is important to have an understanding of the true costs of disengagement amongst your employees. Below are the four biggest impacts caused by the lack of engagement: 

Customer experience

The impact of a disengaged employee on the customer’s experience is huge. It affects whether a customer wants to do business with the organisation, it  creates a bad reputation and bad feedback. For example, if, a checkout worker at Sainsbury's is unhelpful, blunt and generally disengaged with their job, this will impact negatively on customer experience. The customer will not want to give business to that supermarket again. One person could potentially reflect badly on an entire company. 


Disengaged employees make  100 times more errors  than their engaged colleagues – this is a lot of productivity lost. Furthermore, disengaged employees generally spend less time working; they chat, take more breaks, procrastinate, surf the internet etc. Another aspect of productivity that is affected by disengagement, is the amount of sick days taken by employees. Each of these are elements that contribute towards poor productivity, as a result of employee disengagement. 

Employee retention

Disengaged employees are likely to want to find a job that engages them. This has a direct effect on  employee retention. When a company invests so much money, training and time in an employee, they will not want them to leave and take their skills elsewhere. Engaged employees are  87 percent more likely  to be retained by a company.  Employee engagement  is a huge reason as to why employees leave an organisation. 


The bottom line is very important to companies. Disengaged employees cost money – studies have shown that companies with disengaged employees have an income that is  33 percent lower  than companies with high engagement. This is due to a combination of the above features. 

To conclude, it is clear that there are many costs of disengagement and they are contributing to an overall profit loss for companies. It is so important to engage your employees. Read our  blog  for the benefits of employee engagement.