man frustrated at work

The Impact of Resenteeism

Resenteeism is a hidden threat to workplace harmony and productivity. Here, we'll examine effective strategies to address and prevent employee resentment.

Another “ism” is coming for the workplace. First we had “quiet quitting” where people showed up doing the bare minimum. And then there was “presenteeism” where people show up just to log in. And now a new term has been coined to describe people showing up and they actually resent being at work.

Resenteeism can be devastating for your company. When employees are physically present but mentally disengaged due to unresolved frustrations, they can become withdrawn and impact innovation, engagement, and productivity. Attitudes can also be contagious and start impacting the entire workforce. And this can then rapidly start to disrupt and poison the communication, creativity, and culture of your company.

Addressing resenteeism
is crucial to maintaining a healthy work environment and ensuring the success of your organization. At MacklinConnection, we have spent over 30 years developing a program, based on human biology, focused on transforming the culture of your workplace. With a dedication to improving the work experience for everyone, we have seen businesses quickly increase engagement, profitability, and collaboration. 

It's crucial to address the factors that can undermine employee satisfaction and productivity, in order to prevent your business from losing its place in the market. In this article, we’ll examine resenteeism and what you can do to identify it and eliminate it.

Causes of Resenteeism

Unrealistic expectations and overwork are common causes of resenteeism. When employees feel overwhelmed by their workload, they may become disengaged and frustrated. Poor management and communication can also contribute to the problem. A lack of clear expectations, feedback, and support from supervisors and team members can leave employees feeling undervalued, unappreciated, and misguided.

Another significant factor is a lack of recognition and appreciation. When employees don't feel acknowledged for their hard work, resentment can grow. Workplace conflict and toxic work environments can exacerbate this, leading to even higher levels of resenteeism. Finally, personal stresses and lack of work life balance can also influence an employee's likelihood of becoming resentful.

Unreasonable Workloads and Stress

Employees who are consistently overburdened with excessive workloads and high levels of stress may start to develop resentment. Over time, this can lead to burnout and a decline in job satisfaction and engagement. Ensuring that workloads are manageable and providing resources for stress management can help address this cause of resenteeism.

Poor Communication and Conflict Resolution

Ineffective communication and poor conflict resolution can contribute to resenteeism. When employees feel that their concerns are not being heard or addressed, resentment builds. Encouraging open communication and providing opportunities for employees to express their grievances can help mitigate this issue.

Perceived Unfair Treatment or Favoritism

One of the leading causes of resenteeism is the perception of unfair treatment or favoritism. Employees who feel that they are treated unfairly compared to their peers may develop resentment, which can fester and ultimately damage workplace relationships and productivity. Ensuring that all employees are treated equitably is essential to fostering a positive work environment.

Lack of Recognition or Appreciation

Employees who feel undervalued or unappreciated are more likely to harbor feelings of resentment. A lack of recognition for hard work and accomplishments can lead to disengagement and dissatisfaction, fueling resenteeism. Providing regular feedback and acknowledging employee contributions can help alleviate these negative feelings.

Inadequate Compensation and Benefits

Employees who feel that they are not fairly compensated for their work may develop resentment, which can impact productivity and overall workplace morale. Regularly reviewing and adjusting compensation packages (or implementing other types of benefits - like more PTO) can help prevent resenteeism related to inadequate compensation.

Consequences of Resenteeism

Decreased productivity is one of the most apparent consequences of resenteeism. As employees become less engaged, their performance suffers, leading to a drop in overall efficiency. Employee turnover and recruitment expenses can also increase as resentful employees leave the organization in search of better opportunities.

Loss of morale and company culture can have long-lasting effects on an organization. As resenteeism spreads, it can create a toxic work environment that stifles creativity, collaboration, and growth. Indirect costs, such as missed deadlines and client dissatisfaction, can further damage a company's reputation and bottom line.

  1. Decreased Employee Engagement and Productivity

Resenteeism can lead to a decline in employee engagement and productivity. When employees harbor resentment, they may be less motivated to perform their job duties effectively, resulting in reduced output and a negative impact on the organization's bottom line.

  1. Increased Turnover and Recruitment Costs

Employees experiencing resenteeism are more likely to seek new job opportunities, leading to increased turnover rates. This can result in higher recruitment and training costs for organizations, as well as the potential loss of valuable institutional knowledge.

  1. Negative Impact on Team Morale and Collaboration

Resenteeism can erode team morale and hinder collaboration. When resentment is present, employees may be less willing to work together or support one another, leading to a decline in team cohesion and effectiveness.

  1. Harm to Company Reputation

Unaddressed resenteeism can damage an organization's reputation and brand. Employees who leave due to resentment may share their negative experiences with others. This can also lead to potential difficulties in attracting top talent.

Strategies to Address Resenteeism

Implementing effective communication practices can help reduce resenteeism. Encourage open dialogue between managers and employees, provide regular feedback, and set clear expectations. Demonstrate what open communication looks like with your employees, so they can see they are safe to approach you or other leaders with concerns and feedback.

Encouraging work-life balance and flexibility can also alleviate stress and resentment among employees. Offering options like remote work, flexible hours, or mental health days can improve overall well-being and demonstrate that you actually care about your employees.

Professional development and growth opportunities can help employees feel valued and engaged in their work. Consider offering training programs, mentorship, or opportunities for advancement. Recognizing and rewarding employee contributions is another essential step in preventing resenteeism. Acknowledge achievements through awards, bonuses, or even simple words of appreciation.

Promoting a positive company culture and environment can also help reduce resenteeism. Encourage collaboration, teamwork, and support among employees to foster a sense of belonging and purpose. Address workplace conflicts promptly and fairly to prevent resentment from festering.

Resenteeism is Preventable

Proactively addressing resenteeism is essential for the long-term success and health of your organization. By understanding the causes of employee resentment and implementing a strategy to turn things around, you can create a positive work environment that fosters collaboration and support. In doing so, you can not only improve workplace productivity and employee morale but also pave the way for a more engaged and committed workforce. 

By investing in better communication, recognizing your employees, and promoting a better work culture, you can tackle the silent enemy of resenteeism and elevate your entire company in the process.

If this article helped you better understand how you can recognize and address resenteeism in your workplace, you might be interested in our leadership training or work culture transformation programs. Our executive coaches are leaders in their fields and have transformed companies through their visionary leadership styles. To learn more about how to work with us, you can Schedule A Consultation.