March 14, 2016
We all know what burnout looks like – or at least the meltdown at the end of a burnout streak. It exists in virtually every career and industry from support personnel to sales, management, industrial workers, line men and beyond. Burnout is the primary cause for turnover in many industries.
While the level of American worker engagement is open to debate (a SHRM study found employees to be generally satisfied with their job and at least “moderately engaged”) what is not debatable is that turnover is increasing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the rate at which workers are quitting their job is the highest in six years and could reach 25 percent this year.
Despite burnout being common, we all struggle with why it happens, and how to prevent it.
Burnout is not just the result of working too many hours in a busy environment. Burnout is a multidimensional response that can be a complex mashup of causes. If it hits a single employee it could dramatically impact your workflow.
What’s worse, burnout spreads like wildfire and impacts the performance of the entire team and work environment. Every process and employee that intersects with the individual succumbing to burnout is affected. These effects include:
Burnout begins to worsen as you have a multitude of factors merging within an individual including Exhaustion (depletion of emotional resources leading to an inability to cope), Cynicism (a growing distant attitude about the work), Inefficacy (a cynical attitude where personal accomplishment is lacking and the employee has given up trying)
There are some common causes of burnout within the workplace including:
Overloading employees is one of the most common causes of burnout; when they have a massive rolling to-do list resulting from business growth and not enough people to tackle the work or poorly designed/obsolete workflow.
When your employees don’t clearly understand how to do their job well, they’ll struggle to find their place in the role resulting in a constant stress.
Workflows should evolve and be improved as the business grows. Aging/obsolete workflows and resources can be time consuming and overwhelming for your team.
A lack of training or inadequate resources to get the job done. Asking employees to cut fulfillment time in half without giving them improved tools is a tough order to fill.
Overload them with work or put tasks on inappropriate people and your employees will begin to feel useless and unhappy.
Frustration sets in quickly within the workplace when hyper-friendly but under-qualified coworkers are promoted or paid at a higher level.
Salary and lack of social rewards or intrinsic rewards are one of the most common causes of employee burnout. Just about everyone has a story about a hard-working, underappreciated employee who finally quit because they weren’t being fairly compensated for everything they were doing. And it’s not always about money; some employees treat appreciation of work and pride as motivational compensation.
The last thing a manager or company owner wants is to lose their best talent or have a good employee go sour and bring the carefully planned workflows to a grinding halt. Unfortunately, most don’t realize that an employee is at the burnout point until it’s too late.
Here are 12 ways you can be proactive in preventing burnout within your company
No one is immune to burnout but you can take steps to minimize the occurrence by structuring your workplace in a way that your employees feel happy, motivated, and have the tools to do what they do best. A community building game night, great coffee, and better tools might be all you need to keep your employees happy.
March 14, 2016