We often hear that unhappy employees are less efficient and thus cost money.

And that’s pretty much a no brainer when you think about it.  But it can seem kind of abstract.

Here is a true tangible tale  I was told the other day for the next time you’re wondering, what does employee inefficiency really look like?

Well it looks like this:

Eight guys work in the service department of their company.  The company sells high end residential lighting.

Most of these guys have been with the company for some time.  They would say they’re even considered some of the best and most reliable workers within their company.

They haven’t had layoffs.

And yet this team is concerned about job security.  Why?

Recently their company went through the Six Sigma process – a business management strategy that prides itself on creating efficiencies within a company.  Unfortunately the way it was implemented in this company resulted in disenfranchised employees.

Now they don’t trust the company they work for.

Now when a customer calls in and has an issue with their lighting the service team sometimes chooses to make simple fixes sound complicated so that the customer has to request that a member of the service team come to their home to fix the problem.  Job security achieved.  Efficiency not achieved.

Often the customer’s home can be a full day’s drive from the shop.  The company can be paying up to two full days’ worth of an employee’s time, plus at least a full tank of gas, plus wear and tear on the service truck.

$400 gone.

That’s what “unhappy employees are less efficient” looks like.

Insidious theft justified by hurt feelings and resulting fear.