Burnout. It’s Real and Up to Leaders to Fix It.

Whether working inhouse or remotely, workplace stress and burnout has long been an issue, costing US companies billions in lost productivity. Add new challenges created by the pandemic and we’re seeing a stressed workforce costing companies over $360 billion a year.

A 2019 Gallup study found that, at any given time, nearly eight in ten employees have experienced burnout on the job. Gallup cites burnout as a symptom of the “modern workforce which has become increasingly fast-paced, complex and overwhelming.”

In fact, the pressure to address burnout was so strong, that for the first time ever, the World Health Organization included it as an occupational hazard in its 11th Revision of Common Diseases. Their definition stated burnout was “from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

The pressure is on leaders and managers to develop a workplace culture that maintains open communication practices that create high engagement resulting in employee loyalty and commitment. Satisfied employees in engaged environments are 76% less likely to fall victim to burnout as opposed to overwhelmed employees who feel unsupported, unseen and unheard.

Burned out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6x more likely to be actively seeking a different job.

When employees are burned out, they psychologically distance themselves from work with their only priority is surviving the day. They develop a mindset fixated on problems–they resist coaching and are uninterested in future opportunities or growth in the company.

Let’s look at some stats:

  • 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress.
  • US businesses lose up to $360 billion yearly as a result of workplace stress.
  • Stress causes around one million workers to miss work every day.
  • Only 43% of US employees think their employers care about their work-life balance.
  • 35% of respondents said their main source of stress at work was their boss. (Korn Ferry)
  • 16% of workers have quit their jobs because of stress. (Korn Ferry)
  • 60% of workers have left a job or would leave one over a bad boss.
  • 34% of workers don’t feel safe reporting stress because they think it would be interpreted as a lack of interest or unwillingness to do their job. (ADAA)

Gallup has identified 15 key factors that influence stress and cause burnout in the workplace. Here are a few.

  • Unclear Communication
  • Unmanageable workload
  • Lack of manager support
  • Unfair treatment at work
  • Unreasonable time pressure
  • Employees not knowing or understanding their new expectations and accountability practices
  • Employees feeling untrusted, unseen or unheard.
  • Employees not being able to separate work and life.
  • Employees feeling detached from team and organizational culture.
  • Employees feeling isolated and lonely.

How Employers Can Help

There are a variety of workplace protocols and workflow management tools managers can put into place but most issues can be resolved by top down by an internal communication strategy, collaboration tools and attention to developing and maintaining employee engagement which focuses on recognizing the unique strengths and opinion of each individual rather than blanket solutions that are one size fits all.  Next week, we’ll break down a variety of solutions managers can use to address these issues.

  • Listen to Work Related Problems
  • Encourage Teamwork
  • Make Sure Employee Opinions are Heard
  • Make Work Purposeful
  • Focus on Individual Strengths

Next week, (or tomorrow or Tuesday -whenever) we’ll take examine how the pandemic is further contributing to stress and break down solutions managers can use to address these issues.

Everybody Up! is the resource for leaders and managers to help reignite your workforce. If you’re experiencing client attrition, missed deadlines or less than stellar quality of work, call us to discuss your unique situation at (512) 695-9144, or check out our website to see how Everybody Up! can infuse your employees with motivation, enthusiasm and renewed commitment: http://www.everybodyuptx.com.