What is Employee Burnout?
Employee burnout is a situation where workers reach the point of feeling extremely exhausted physically, mentally, and/or emotionally.
Work-related factors, such as excessive workload, hectic schedules, and pressing deadlines, among others, are the usual culprits of this problem, although unpleasant personal situations can also contribute to this negative emotion.
When employees are burnt out, they begin to feel drained, disengaged, dissatisfied, or disinterested at work because they just don’t seem to have the energy or motivation to perform at their best.
You might also notice burnt out employees calling in sick more often or committing errors due to their inability to stay focused. Their productivity and quality of work might also show signs of decline.
Because these signs are closely related to workplace stress, it may be safe to say that employee burnout happens as a result of prolonged stress among employees.
How Employee Burnout Affects Your Bottom Line
Employee burnout can be really costly for businesses. There’s a domino effect when your employees are suffering from this condition, and if not recognised and addressed early, employee burnout can escalate into a serious issue for business owners and HR managers just like you.
1. Low Productivity and Efficiency
It’s common for employees dealing with burnout issues to fail to deliver high-quality performance at work and meet productivity goals.
Because they feel extreme forms of exhaustion, they may work much slower or less effectively than normal.
With reduced efficiency from your employees, the company is consequently affected, especially when the amount of goods or services provided to your customers is lessened, which in turn results in a smaller profit margin or poorer customer experience for your business.
2. Employee Turnover
Your burnt-out employees may start entertaining thoughts of quitting their job and begin looking for one that’s less stressful for them.
As your employee turnover rates increase, you stand to lose a lot of your talent, and you could have workers who may suffer from low morale as their colleagues leave them behind.
Additionally, your company’s reputation may be indirectly affected as a result of high employee turnover. Public perception on low employee retention tends to go against employers’ favour, with people thinking there may be something wrong within your organisation that’s causing employees to leave.
3. Wastage of Resources
In relation to employee turnover, your company may have to spend on hiring and training new employees. Statistics say that 50 percent of employee attrition is due to burnout, which means you could end up spending thousands to replace your former employees.
In addition, employees who are burnt out are more likely to lose their ability to get their tasks done correctly the first time. Some steps may have to be repeated to rectify the error, which means additional time and money expended by your employees and as a result, your company.
Top 7 Causes of Employee Burnout
Employee burnout stressors may vary from case to case, but here are some of the most common factors that trigger all the negativity associated with employee burnout.
1. Employees feel overworked
When work starts piling up, employees may be quick to feel the demands of the job. They may be able to prioritise their tasks, but in the end, it could create a sense of inadequacy on their part especially when they feel they could have done better if they had a more manageable workload.
2. Tasks lack variety
There’s some truth to the notion that employees with repetitive jobs burn out more easily than those who get to try different things or roles. People tend to get tired of working on the same type of tasks or projects repeatedly, with their interest waning through time.
3. The work environment is not employee-friendly
Work environment and culture can be a crucial factor for employee satisfaction. A fun, positive, and supportive atmosphere can inspire employees to happily come to work every day, while the opposite can be a total scare and turnoff for office workers.
4. There’s too much micromanagement
Employees are professionals who have their own set of skills and competencies, and supervising them every step of the way can potentially do more harm than good. Micromanaging your employees can make them feel uneasy, not to mention stifle their growth when they are not allowed to fend for themselves.
5. Employees aren’t happy with their compensation
When you hire your employees, you expect them to give their best and hope that they continue working for your organisation for a long time. To motivate them toward those goals, they need to be compensated properly and fairly. Giving them a compensation package that’s below industry standards could make them feel that they are not being valued for all their efforts and contributions to the company.
6. There’s no work-life balance
Employees need to be given time to pursue other worthwhile activities that interest them outside of their work. A balanced lifestyle allows employees to be more productive, creative, happy, and healthy.
7. Managers are distant and unfair to employees
Validation, recognition, and appreciation from managers can inspire employees a great deal. Favouritism among employees could crush their positive spirits. Once they feel that they are not getting due credit and respect from their boss, they could develop an overall dislike for company management and their colleagues.
The Challenge with Employee Burnout
Employers are unanimous in acknowledging that employee burnout is a pressing issue that needs to be resolved, and yet there’s still a disconnect when companies ignore just how big a role they play in allowing this problem to blow out of proportion.
In other words, employee burnout is more of an organisational concern rather than a direct result of an employee’s failure to deal with their physical or psychological incapacities.
Companies, therefore, need to evaluate what exactly is causing employees to feel frustrated or stressed at work, eventually giving rise to their feelings of burnout.
Whether it’s the amount of workload, salary, management style, or overall atmosphere in the workplace, HR needs to flesh out all these issues with the concerned departments and the affected employees to help them avoid the undesirable impact of burnout across the organisation.