The Cost of Low Morale

The COVID-19 pandemic is a ‘generation-defining moment’ on a scale we’ve never seen before, and the predictions of economists right now are dire.

resilience calculator

The global economy is set to decline by 32% this year (the OBR states the UK economy could shrink by a record 35% by June), with the UK Government set to spend a reported £330billion on measures to support the economy.

Yet, that’s the economist’s role — to put numbers on the costs and benefits of strategies on a macro and micro scale. Even with the grim news, the monetary value of choice and consequence is helpful for scenario planning and is how many businesses navigate the market.

Before the pandemic hit, we had already begun working on our advanced resilience calculator to understand what impact team morale, and employee happiness and wellbeing had on a company’s bottom line. In these extraordinary times, it is an even more imperative exercise as the cost of ignoring team morale will accumulate quickly over the coming months.

By putting a monetary value to lost productivity and innovation, as well as the effect of increased staff turnover and sickness absence, the calculator reveals that the cost of ignoring team morale will accumulate quickly over the coming months.

The cost of a half-point shift

Our calculator’s estimates are relatively conservative. We look at the impact of a half-point shift on our five-point scale, which assesses employee wellbeing and team morale. After entering your information, our calculator shows what it could cost you if morale fell and your company didn’t bounce back.

For example, a 200-person organization comes out with a $1 million loss this year, and that’s only from a half-point fall. During the early weeks, where coronavirus started to strike across our clients, we saw a fall two or three times that size — a sharp shock to employee morale that mirrored the sharp economic shock.

As the crisis continues, that loss could become a more significant problem to a company’s bottom line. While the calculator lays out the monetary estimates, our Friday Pulse platform is what can help you navigate your way through the crisis and mitigate these losses. As well as giving you a real-time feel for how your teams are coping, it’s weekly cadence also supports line managers to have regular check-ins with their teams which, over time, helps build a better team spirit.

Surviving the economists' predictions

It’s easy to respond to economist predictions by merely thinking about company survival or the logistics of working together. However, the only way that businesses can survive is to display resilience through having a sense of togetherness. That’s not just corporate fluff but rather a true alignment in purposes throughout the organization, built on the ability to be creative and adapt to various situations.

That is the heart of resilience — the ability not just to bounce back, but to be creative and adapt.

As it is, there’s plenty to bounce back from right now. However, bouncing back to how things were before the pandemic might not be the right course of action. When we emerge from this crisis — and we will — we’ll enter a world of disrupted markets, a place where ‘business as usual’ is far from reality as everyone struggles for a new normal. For your company to survive, you need to be able to find creative solutions to your challenges.

And creativity only comes when people feel psychologically safe, and part of the team (more on this in future blog posts — stay tuned!).

Every company in the world has felt, and will feel, the continuing impact of this virus. Will our generation be defined by entering into a prolonged economic slump, or will we be able to display greater resilience than ever before?

We're here to help

If you are interested in learning more on how Friday Pulse can help your organization weather the pandemic please contact our Head of Helping People, George Hargreaves at