- In a new study, Randstad USA found that employees are feeling disengaged, uninspired and just plain tired. The company says this discontent is causing workers to do some "scary" things on the job, according to an email sent to HR Dive.
- Unhappy workers in the study admitted to listening in on a private conversation (38%), drinking alcohol (5%), taking naps (15%), helping themselves to coworkers' food in the fridge (9%), playing pranks on coworkers (40%), watching Netflix (5%) and using the company credit card for personal purchases (2%).
- Before disciplining or firing workers for these behaviors, Randstad says companies should step back and recognize that these actions are symptoms of stress and burnout.
Most employers probably have policies prohibiting drinking alcohol while working or using the corporate credit card for personal use and would certainly discipline workers for doing so. But when unacceptable behaviors are the result of fatigue and stress, employers may want to simultaneously investigate (and ultimately support) workers' well-being and help them find resources to reduce their stress. Experts caution managers and supervisors against diagnosing employees' emotional states; instead, employers should focus on workers' productivity.
Addressing disengagement remains a critical aspect of employee management, too. In a two-year study with the Faas Foundation, Mental Health America (MHA) found that disengagement causes massive losses in productivity — between $450 and $500 billion a year. Employers who dismiss workers' complaints of feeling undervalued, over-worked or underpaid risk increasing their own costs over time.