Chronically Ill Work Cultures are Making Employees Burned Out by Alie Jules

We are in the middle of a new workplace crisis.

The lifeblood of your organization is bleeding. Your employees are disengaged and burned out. The yearly cost of employee turnover and healthcare spending is billions of dollars.

Consider this:

84% of workers globally are “just coming to work” instead of being fully engaged employees. (ADP Global Study of Engagement)

79% of employees are suffering from mild, moderate, or severe burnout (OC Tanner)

The negative impact on companies is tremendous:

376% decrease in the odds of having highly engaged employees – moderate-severe burnout (OC Tanner)

220% decrease in the likelihood of highly engaged employees – mild burnout (OC Tanner)

Burnout contributes up to 50% of annual workforce turnover. (OC Tanner)

I’m looking at you - lousy work culture.

Poor workplace culture leads to a 157% increase in moderate to severe burnout. (OC Tanner)

56% of employee burnout is caused by poor management and negative work culture. (Kronos study)

Round and round we go.

The bottom line for the employer comes with a hefty price tag.

Employee burnout:

  • Increases disengagement
  • Decreases productivity
  • Increases employee turnover

Employee burnout costs companies more than $190 billion in healthcare spending. (OC Tanner)

There’s more:

The cost of burnout for the employee hits home.

Burnout can affect the health of the employee, both physical and mental.

Burnout doesn’t stay confined at work. The ripple effects are straining relationships at home.

The effects are real.

The World Health Organization recently included burnout in its International Classification of Diseases as an occupational phenomenon (11th revision).

“Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed."

Burnout is not merely having too much on your plate and being overworked. It’s much more and it can manifest itself in many ways:

Lack of energy, exhaustion, overwhelm, confusion, stress, depression…

It can spread like a wildfire leaving devastation on its wake.

Poor workplace culture acts as an accelerant:

  • Toxic workplace
  • Lack of psychological safety
  • A bad manager
  • Lack of trust
  • Lack of appreciation
  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of respect
  • Non-existing or unclear purpose, vision, and goals

– can all contribute to and accelerate employee burnout.

Here’s the thing:

We, us – humans, cannot function and thrive in a chronic, negative, high-stress state. Something is going to give…

Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way.

There is so much that can be done to reduce and minimize employee burnout. It’s not even that difficult.

Start by treating your employees as humans, as they are – not as workers or numbers.

Employees need to know the why behind the work they do and be able to align with it – walk the talk, show it to them.

Employees need to know that what they do is meaningful. That their work matters to the organization, customers, and society.

Employees want to learn, grow, and develop in their work. Employees want to feel challenged. Employees want independence, freedom, and control over their work.

As a manager and the leader, you are the coach, the mentor, the motivator. You are the teacher, the guide, the cheerleader. Your team wants to know they can trust you and that you have their back.

Be transparent, kind and caring. Offer your support, help, and resources. Give praise and recognition and let your team fly.

“It’s better to light the candle than curse the darkness.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Now I turn it over to you:

Employees: Are you experiencing burnout? How is it affecting you?

Leaders & Managers: Are you experiencing burnout? Are your employees experiencing burnout? What can you do? What will you do?


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