Firms in the UK and US are losing significant amounts of money as a result of employee misunderstandings.

This is according to a study commissioned by Cognisco, which found that workers are costing businesses £18.7 billion each year because they do not fully understand their jobs.

It was also found that, while many organisations are aware of the costly nature of such misunderstandings, only one in three claims to have taken action to close the gap.

Banking was the industry identified as having the highest costs associated with a lack of employee knowledge, due to the high risks associated with handling funds.

"An organisation’s greatest asset is its employees. [However,] obviously if an employee misunderstands or misinterprets actions there will be repercussions from loss of business to impaired brand image," stated Mary Clarke, chief executive officer of Cognisco.

With operations in 150 countries across the world, Cognisco is a provider of online employee assessment and learning solutions.