Catalytic Blog

Keep up with the latest digital transformation trends and learn how automation and AI are revolutionizing the future of work across industries.

The cost of employee disengagement

Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist and the United States Navy Rear Admiral, was once quoted saying, “We’ve always done it this way,” is the most dangerous phrase in the English language. As someone who worked in an ever-evolving technological field, contributing to the development of high-level programming languages, she knew repeating old strategies is sometimes detrimental to progress.

Yet, we’ve all heard someone utter this phrase at least a few times in our careers. This approach impacts the business a lot more than most people can imagine. It stifles change, intimidates creativity, holds back improvement, and costs a lot of money. Even still, a large chunk of repetitive tasks are being done manually by worn-out and disengaged employees because “that’s how it's always been done.”

Now, mundane and repetitive work should be expected every so often. But imagine a company asking its accountant to calculate all of its financial data manually. Sounds like a waste of time and talent, right? So how can companies expect their employees to rise to their full potential if their time is being spent on manual tasks that can be automated just as easily?

I’ll get to the point. Machines should be tasked with robotic manual processes and humans with work that allows them to be empathetic, creative, and thoughtful.


A deep dive into disengagement costs

The problem is not only that employees don’t like boring work. These time-consuming tasks are so mind-numbing that they can disengage and start making errors that cost business time and money. Gallup found that an actively disengaged employee costs their organization $3,400 for every $10,000 of salary, or 34%. Think about it: your $55,000-salaried employee costs you a whopping $18,700 a year! Ouch.

Let’s look at some more stats. Here’s what engagement actually means for businesses:

  • Engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share (Gallup Poll).
  • Committed employees put in 57% more effort on the job (PWC report).
  • Engaged employees are 87% less likely to resign (PWC report).
  • 92% of employees say that having the technology to do their job efficiently affects their work satisfaction (Ultimate Software).
  • Companies with engaged employees see 233% greater customer loyalty and a 26% greater annual increase in revenue (Aberdeen).


The case for automation

We’re not here to vilify this repetitive work - it is necessary and it is an integral part of any business process. Instead, we should redefine it. Automating manual tasks will save time and money while improving company culture.

Automation improves the reliability of results and team operations all while increasing the speed with which tasks are delivered. As an added perk, it also elevates employees through technology, empowering them to focus their energy on more meaningful work—like the stuff that actually gets them excited about coming into work every day.

Automation is a huge savings opportunity. A company automating some of its most time-consuming manual processes saves money (see how with our ROI Calculator). And it saves its employees from becoming disengaged, lethargic, and—worst case scenario—leaving the company.


How do you know if your business processes are a fit for automation?

  • Your company struggles with tedious manual processes
  • These processes occur regularly
  • These processes often require rework because of errors
  • There are ramifications of slow cycle times or delay
  • There are fees or costs associated with incorrect or overdue work
  • There is more significant work that employees could be doing


If any of these strike a chord with you, there is a good chance that your company could benefit from automating some of its most complex processes. Connect with us to find out how.

Written by Catalytic