The Cost of Doing Nothing

by Kayla Crum on May 9, 2024

Sometimes the issues evident in a dysfunctional team feel too insurmountable to change. Even if you had the time to bring in outside help, how could you possibly justify the monetary investment in such a program?

This rationale is prevalent in the business world. As long as deadlines are still getting met and profits are still coming in, poor team dynamics are tolerated or even inadvertently encouraged.

However, the cost of doing nothing may outweigh the cost of effecting change. If you find yourself in an untenable situation, follow these steps to determine your next right move.


Assess current team metrics

It may feel obvious to you that there are interpersonal issues on your team. But it’s important to get a comprehensive understanding of the current state of things before you attempt to implement a solution.

If your workplace conducts a quarterly or annual survey, pay attention to the responses that indicate levels of employee engagement and satisfaction. If possible, pull out your team’s specific responses from the larger survey and see if there are any similarities among team members.

Get a good understanding of the state of quantitative metrics like attrition and quarterly revenue, too. If you are considering spending money on a team development program, you’ll want to note some measurable quantitative metrics you can follow over time.

Finally, don’t forget to look for positives, too. Just because your team is struggling doesn’t mean they have everything completely wrong. As you investigate both qualitative and quantitative measurements of team performance, notice a few strengths that your team already has.


Compare results to previous years

Once you’ve gathered data about the current situation, it’s time to look back at the last five years. Compare your team’s current performance with the way they performed one year ago, five years ago, and with the way the company performs as a whole.

Trends are much more informative than static facts. It’s helpful to plot your team’s attrition rate or quarterly revenue on a graph to see how it’s changed over time. You might also do this for employee satisfaction, especially if they’ve ranked it using a numerical scale.

As you review the last five years, be honest with yourself about the direction in which your team is headed. Perhaps profits are going up, but so is attrition. Alternatively, profits may be declining along with employee satisfaction. Compare your team to the rest of the company and ask yourself if you have a problem on your hands.

Again, don’t forget the positives. If you’ve identified certain strengths among your team members, try to see how they might be influencing the trends. Ask yourself if there was a certain set of strengths prevalent on the team five years ago that is missing now.


Weigh the cost of doing nothing

Now is the time to decide if the cost of doing nothing outweighs the cost of effecting change. Yes, hiring a leadership development coach or purchasing a team improvement program will cost you both time and money.

But based on the trends you’ve reviewed, will the continuation of harmful team dynamics cost you time and money, too? Onboarding new employees is costly and time consuming, so if your attrition rate is creeping up you can anticipate lost revenue there. Dissatisfied employees are often less productive, and while this net loss is hard to capture quantitatively, a trend of decreased satisfaction may be costing you more than you think.

If it’s time to make a change, make sure you pick a leadership and team development program that provides measurable outcomes. Here at Teamaltyics, we’ve developed proprietary analytics over the last several decades to ensure our clients get a return on their investment. Download our guide, “Calculating ROI: A Practical Guide for Measuring Return on Human Capital Investments” to see if your team could benefit from our unique approach.