Employee burnout has become a widespread phenomenon, but it is one that organizations tend to treat as a menial individual-based issue rather than a broader corporate problem. It is a misunderstanding. Employee burnout is becoming a concern for companies around the world. And if the trends are to be believed, they should become more prevalent in upcoming years. The effect cannot be ignored.
The psychological and physical issues for stressed employees are among the most obvious consequences. They are estimated to cost between the US $125 billion to $190 billion per year. Other impacts include low corporate efficiency, high staff turnover, and the loss of skilled assets, the actual cost to a company can be much higher than just financial. Managers need to identify not only the reasons for burnout but also own their contribution to it. Heavy workloads, job insecurity, and stressful daily schedules that include too many meetings and far too little creative work time can be some of the reasons leading to employee burnout.
Burnouts are not merely the result of operating in a stressful workplace for too many hours. It is instead a multidimensional reaction with many different triggers. Employee burnout symptoms aren’t always obvious, but that doesn’t suggest that they aren’t present. Specific issues like employee disengagement, psychological, emotional, and physical fatigue, can be signs of something more severe. Employees with often sick leaves, injuries, and loneliness should also be paid heed to. Essentially, it may be an enormous difference in themselves and what is needed for the role because you didn’t take time out to assess the quality of your employees. The difference may lead to long-term demotivation, anxiety, stress, and possible burnouts.
Regardless of how much your employees enjoy their jobs, if they experience burnout, they’ll suffer. This is especially common if employees previously were over-performers or high-performers. Highest performing employees are more prone to burnout, as their achievement encourages managers to burden them with more work than they can complete. This slims down their energy and skills — and the burnout loop begins.
Working together boosts imagination, but endless discussions and opinions do not. Don’t overburden your team with meetings, if they already are stretched for time trying to catch up with the workload. Identify and understand how much time each employee takes to complete a task. Determine whether they’re the ones that are most deserving of the job role, and are they doing justice to it. Also, please don’t overestimate the capacity of work your team can handle. Your best employees might complete a job twice as fast as their peers, which doesn’t mean that you overburden them with twice the amount of work.
Burnout is also triggered by the always-online environment, too many goals, and the assumption that employees can use their digital tools across their workloads to multitask and fuel them. When we switch back and forth between projects, multitasking turns out to be stressful and detrimental. Context switching costs are well documented: transitioning to a new task while still amid another task increases the required time by 25% to complete both tasks. Research by Microsoft showed that after an email disruption, it takes an average of 15 minutes for people to return to their initial project.
Burnout can be reflected in several ways:
Not only does the burnout affect the performance of the employees, but it also influences team performance and the work culture.
- Low employee retention, High absenteeism
- Unmotivated and unproductive employees
- Low productivity
- Increased ineffectiveness
- Influencers of bad office culture
- No commitment to job/organization
To have an incredible team, it is vital to establish a working environment that avoids burnout and encourages efficiency, dedication, and overall satisfaction. If you witness your employees getting exhausted or frustrated trying to get their job done, do not take that as an indication of laziness right away. Rather, look at it as a call for help— as a warning that something larger needs to change.
Just people with dull, monotonous, low-paying and low-prestige jobs burn out, right?
That’s not the truth. People with high profile jobs with good wages and exciting assignments can also burn out. To identify if the employees are overworked up, some of the best ways are as follows:
- Organize employee group discussions.
- Conduct employee pulse surveys.
- Measure employee sentiments with respect to work, insecurity, well-being, and fulfillment.
- Analyze data to identify stressful conditions and act on them.
Human resources experts have to be on the lookout for signs of burnout at all times. Step in and take action when these signals are evident. The quicker these things are addressed, the easier it will be for the employee, as will the company. In many ways, merely taking care of employees will help to stabilize the burnout of employees.
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