4 Ways Negligent Employees Can Cost Your Business Money

Finding the right employee for a job can be a challenging task. From screening to interviewing, business owners must be cautious in hiring employees that fit well with the workplace dynamic. Even in the most extensive screening processes, there is no way to definitively tell if the potential hire will remain responsible and reliable in their work.

As Eric Goldschein and Kim Bhasin write for Business Insider, negligent employees can bring crippling costs to your business in a variety of ways. Ranging from workplace bullying to sleeping on the job, an irresponsible worker on the premises puts your company at greater risk. Understanding how these employees can impose added costs is crucial to identifying and diffusing the problem before it spirals out of control.


Here are a few ways that the wrong employee can cost your company:

  • Can Cause an Injury in the Workplace

Depending on the workplace environment, the possibility of an injury as always present. Vigilance from each person in the business is necessary to minimize this risk, and having a careless employee around won’t help with your bottom line.

If the employee fails to abide by safety guidelines, is inattentive when operating machinery or isn’t taking their work seriously, this person can put both themselves and their coworkers in harm’s way.

  • Damage to Business Property

Not only does a negligent employee increase the potential of bodily harm at the workplace, they also pose a threat to the physical business property as well. Careless behaviors can lead to misuse or mishandling of important (and often expensive) machinery, or inadvertently making a mistake that causes harm to the building itself. This is the last thing any business owner wants to deal with, especially as they try to reduce their overall costs.

  • Irresponsible Driving Practices

If your business operates a fleet of vehicles for deliveries or other purposes, the last thing you want is an irresponsible driver behind the wheel. If negligence on-site can cause damage, imagine what that person can do if they apply the same behaviors on the road. You don’t want someone who texts on the highway, reacts badly to bouts of road rage, pulls risky maneuvers or drives under the influence associated with your company!

Aside from the financial costs of replacing an employee, or the litigation that will likely follow from a traffic incident, the long-term impacts will reflect in higher commercial auto insurance rates. Although accidents can happen to anyone at any time, a driver that isn’t fully attentive can greatly increase the likelihood.

  • Unproductivity by the Hour

Not all negligent behaviors are obvious to the naked eye. In fact, some of the most unnecessary added costs come from constantly unproductive employees. This means tasks are completed at slower rates, attention to detail diminishes quality of service and business owners will find themselves losing money without even noticing.

One study found that almost 29 percent of company time in the U.S. is unproductive. This means that companies “lose” approximately 33.5 days per worker annually. With distractions and unproductivity running rampant, business owners must keep a lookout for these types of employees to deter as much financial damage to the business.

What are the top distractions that destroy productivity? According to a CareerBuilder survey, employees cited:

            -Cell phones and texting (52 percent)

            -Surfing the Internet (44 percent)

            -Gossiping (37 percent)

            -Checking social media (37 percent)

            -Chatting with co-workers (27 percent)

            -Meetings (26 percent)

            -Smoke and snack breaks (27 percent)

The cost of wandering through the hiring process without a set plan in place can cause business owners to inadvertently hire negligent employees. While it might seem like a small slip-up that can be corrected easily, these careless workers can cost your company a great deal of money before you know it. Keeping an eye out for negligent practices and behaviors can reduce the risk of hiring one of these employees, and will help your business stay out of harm’s way.