The Unforeseen Impact of the Disgruntled Employee

Unemployment claims have passed 40 million since the start of the pandemic, with 1.5 million jobless claims added just last week according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

All companies hire people with hopes of them having a great experience and in the midst of COVID-19, may not be able to deliver. With organizational changes happening at such a rapid rate, it is crucial to keep in mind how disgruntled former employees can impact a company. When things go south, there are a number of things to consider preparing for that will require your attention.

The ability to voice one’s opinion to society.

With the rise in social media comes a chance for everyone’s voice to be heard. That is why companies like have been on the rise. Employees have a stronger voice than ever before.

When you’re working for a company, you should be proud of the work you do and want others to know how you feel about it too. On the other hand, if you’re not happy with the way a company is doing things or treating people, it’s much easier to speak up and put an opinion out there that may start controversy.

Social media platforms are used to connect people

This is no exception for disgruntled employees everywhere. We see people who are unhappy frequently expressing themselves⁠ on core issues meaningful to them —politics, women’s rights, diversity in the workplace, workers’ unions, etc.

Social media is used to spread their message, mobilize, and band together in the form of petitions, coalitions, and protests. As we empower more employees to be the brand as a human-centric company, this enables them to speak whether it be positive or negative.

Networking with others reveals shared negative experiences

This is powerful because everyone then has their experience validated by others who faced similar situations. There is power in numbers, and more people are apt to take notice of what these employees have to say if there is a large group of them all conveying the same message.

This increase of people sharing their stories, negative and positive experiences alike, contributes to society’s overall perception of a company. Whether people read those posts is not the most important element: seeing it is. It’s like seeing an ad while you’re scrolling through your feed: if you want to learn more or it sparks your attention, you’ll click on it. If you don’t, then you’ll scroll by.

It’s the same process with people sharing content on social media. The perception can grow to be more negative when people begin to get fatigued and annoyed by seeing more stories.

 The quickly cultivated corporate stigma

If a company is surrounded by overwhelming negative energy from those who quit or were fired, there is a reason for concern. When it comes down to it, even though the employees might be claiming situations that have not been verified or confirmed, there is a stigma attached to people speaking out against companies.

It’s either the company or the employee that people want to blame, and it’s much easier to blame an individual than a conglomerate of people; but, if the company is truly in the wrong and more people accuse it of trying to cover up whatever happened, they’re in for even more backlash.

The affect on other team members

Another effect to take into consideration with disgruntled employees is how that person’s attitude affects other current employees. Current employees can question their feelings about individuals within the company and the whole company if they see one of their coworkers (or former coworkers) being treated poorly or unfairly.

It will also make them question their own standing within the company. Thoughts could run through their minds like, “how would they treat me if I was being fired?” or “how would I react in this situation if it was me they were delivering bad news to?”

 People are finding ways to express themselves and communicate their ideas more than ever before, and this is why humanizing business can be so revolutionary in contemporary society. Companies taking care of and respecting their employees is the first step to establishing mutual respect and building fidelity. Our aim is to prevent these people from ever feeling this way and that’s what we must continue to work towards.

May this serve as a message of hope that being respectful of others and learning to come back to what is most important may very well be the best silver lining to all of our current vicissitudes.

In love and respect,

Hilary Corna

Founder & CEO, Corna Partners



Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



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