How being overworked and underpaid affects you (+ your company) | While working through the trenches until you find a better position is the reality of many workers, some people never manage to find a position that adequately matches their talent to compensation. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by Gallup, 43 percent of workers in the U.S. believe they’re underpaid for their work.
This belief of being underpaid and underappreciated can negatively impact an employee’s mindset at work, productivity, and even mental health. Learn more about how being underpaid and underappreciated can impact the health of your employees, and the health of your business.
Reduction in productivity
A company is only as good as its least-productive employee, and if your employees are feeling overworked and underpaid then productivity as a whole will drop drastically. The more hours an employee works, the more likely they are to make mistakes — whether that’s due to sleep deprivation, burnout, or the inability to keep up with a demanding workload.
This can also lead to feelings of frustration or even resentment toward their employer, especially if employees feel like their hard work and long hours aren’t adequately reflected in their compensation. This frustration can lead to a nasty cycle of stress, burnout, and lack of productivity, which can all take a toll on an employee’s output and wellbeing.
Impact on mental health and wellbeing
While many workplaces like to believe their employees can separate work lives and their home lives, this isn’t always the case. In fact, a recent study found that 54 percent of employees said stresses from work negatively impact their home life and time off. Not being able to leave work at the workplace can lead employees to feel overly stressed, which can impact an employee’s overall mental wellbeing.
Working late, increased work hours, unclear power balances, poor work-life balance, and insufficient pay can all begin to take a toll on how employees feel on a day-to-day basis. While companies don’t need to feel personally involved in each of their employees’ emotions every day, if many employees are reporting poor wellbeing or mental health due to work, then something may need to change.
How to help your employees feel valued and paid accordingly
While shoving more money at your employees won’t fix anything, you may want to take a look at how your company compensation matches with work tasks and responsibilities. Especially if you hadn’t had a chance to give out bonuses or raises in the past six months to a year, it may be time. Here are a few ways to help employees feel both valued and appreciated, with compensation that matches.
Review company growth paths and policies
If many employees complain that they feel like there’s no upward movement for them, then you may want to investigate your company growth track and policies with employees or HR. Having a clearly outlined growth track for each position at your company can help reduce confusion for employees. This can also help both employees and yourself as the employer understand what’s expected of them and how to grow in their role.
Initiate conversations about workload
It can be easy to detect when an employee is feeling burnt out or highly stressed, if you know what to look for. If a usually motivated and energetic employee is suddenly late on deadlines, less enthusiastic about work, and overall seeming stressed, it may be a good idea to discuss their workload with them.
While it’s important to meet your goals and outputs as a company, you’ll never get there if you don’t treat employees with the same respect and care that their work requires. Learn more about how being overworked and underpaid can negatively impact employees, so you know how to treat your employees correctly.
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