Does the term “staff burnout” sound vague? The World Health Organization (WHO) considers it serious enough to add it to the 2019 Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Although the WHO has stated that this is not technically a medical condition, signs of employee fatigue appear frequently enough in doctors’ offices. Issues have been given a unique medical code. The cost of this syndrome across American society is enormous. After accounting for lost productivity and the cost of hiring new employees, it is estimated at $550 billion per year. According to a Gallup study, employees who experience burnout frequently are 2.6 times more likely to actively seek a new job. 20-50% of employee churn is caused by the feeling of ‘burnout’, and an angry employee who remains around has a negative impact on the business.
Watch for signs of employee burnout
Breakout and burnout are not exactly the same, but they are interconnected, as shown in the following five warning signs. Here are the five most prominent indicators of employee burnout to watch out for:
1. Break from work
WHO describes the elimination of burnout as follows: “You feel mentally distant at work, or you feel negative or cynical about your job.” How do I know if an employee is not participating in their work? If you are working directly with them, you can simply notice that their attention and energy are lagging behind. However, if your workforce is geographically dispersed, you may not have enough face-to-face meetings to make that decision. In the average company, statistics show that only 33% of workers are actively engaged in their work, making it more difficult to recognize a problem. It is important to measure your level of engagement on an ongoing basis, and there are many options for doing this. This can be done either directly with a pulse survey or indirectly through many indicators such as worker productivity or company profits.
2. Poor concentration and fatigue
Worker fatigue is a clear sign of employee burnout. Ask yourself, “Are my teammates tired?” One way to tell this is to track absenteeism. Exhaustion can have a variety of causes, and a discouraged worker may not immediately know whether fatigue is organic or is due to employee burnout. According to a Gallup study, employees who experience burnout frequently are “63% more likely to take sick leave and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room”. In addition, absenteeism costs an average of $3600 per hour per hour per worker per year and $2650 per year per paid worker. In addition, a survey of 94,000 workers found that absenteeism alone costs $84 billion annually.
3. Reduced productivity
The WHO describes this as “reduced occupational efficacy”, and an extensive research review of the burnout note documents “a decrease in personal achievement or inefficiency, i.e. a feeling of personal or occupational incompetence, as well as decreased productivity and coping skills.” According to another WHO report, the global figure for productivity loss due to anxiety and depression is US$1 trillion.
Being irritable or getting angry quickly is sometimes combined with inability to concentrate. An irritable employee can make life difficult for co-workers, but can also seriously damage customer relationships. One study found that 74% of call center agents are at risk of burnout. And that risk is “serious” for 30% of individuals. It is impossible to provide great service to customers when the staff is in a bad mood.
5. Disruption of eating or sleeping habits
A study published by the National Institutes of Health found that in a study of more than 4,000 seemingly healthy employees, “burnout was found to be an important predictor of new cases of insomnia and increased levels of insomnia, respectively. ” The Mayo Clinic reminds us that an entire cluster of related physical problems can indicate an employee’s signs of burnout. These can include stomach problems, headaches, and increased use of alcohol or drugs to make you feel better.
All of the signs of employee burnout listed above are interconnected. Tired, poorly focused employees are less productive. As a result, poor performance can increase pressure, which can make a person more irritable. This, in turn, can lead to stress, digestive problems, and depression, which can eventually lead to sickness or absenteeism. This cloud-like symptom should be addressed with strong medications.
How to Fix or Prevent Employee Burnout
Gallup points out that managers are responsible for 70% of employee engagement. Because employee burnout signs and churn are closely related, strategies to reduce burnout can also increase engagement.
Listen to the staff
A key way to keep your employees energized and engaged is to put their voices first. Gallup reports that “Employees whose managers are always willing to listen to work-related issues are 62% less likely to tire.” As companies listen to their teams through open channels and act on feedback, employees hear their voices. Go beyond annual surveys to frequent pulse surveys and always-on workplace chatbots.
By trusting your employees and empowering them to change the way they work, and freely communicate issues to their managers, you avoid the risk of employee burnout. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends “involving employees in decision-making and communicating a feeling of control and participation” as a way to promote mental health in the workplace. “Managers should ask and listen to their employees and work more like a coach than a boss,” says Gallup. “You may not need a 30-minute check-in conversation every day, but you need to stay connected. Phone, email, instant or text message, or video conferencing. use .”
Recognize and reward your efforts
Recognizing and rewarding employees is one of the most effective ways to respond when you see signs of employee burnout. When employees feel overwhelmed, they want to be seen by the people they work with. The human component is important in the workplace. The Mayo Clinic advises weary employees to seek help. “Whether you’re reaching out to a colleague, friend, or loved one, support and collaboration can help you cope,” they say. Frequent recognition from colleagues and managers provides strong support. Among the interventions it recommends to promote workplace mental health, WHO recommends “recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions”.
Focus on employee health and well-being
Addressing the root causes of signs of employee burnout you may have discovered when creating programs to promote employee health and well-being. You will also help your people focus on how well they eat, sleep, and relate to others. The HR Daily Advisor points out that a wellness program can be helpful if it is sustained and genuine. They point out that approaches to mental health care and meditation programs may make more sense than superficial modifications like healthier snacks.
Employee burnout exists
A recent Gallup study found that more than a quarter of employees reported being exhausted “very often” or “always”. Nearly another half of workers (48%) say they are tired from work “sometimes”. Taken together, this means that more than 75% of workers are spending part of their workday exhausted.
To learn more about how you can prevent your company from being included in these statistics, access the webinar “Staff Burnout: Signs and Action Steps to Prevent or Mitigate Its Impact”.