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Don't Get Burned out on My Blogs about Burnout

This Week in HR, I continue thinking about burnout and what causes it. Burnout can be hard to detect, especially so when workers are remote. Remote work adds to the manager burden exponentially. In fact, most managers aren’t prepared to supervise remote workers. It’s a critical moment for many organizations. Defining burnout, understanding its impact, and planning for it and averting it should be primary focuses of HR pros today.  It is as strategically important to every organization as hiring and firing, benefits and payroll.

Burnout is the most common cause of disengagement. It is physical and mental exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. We all know what disengagement costs organizations. But just for reminder’s sake…Here’s some Gallup data on engagement, disengagement, and non-engagement:

  • Those teams who score in the top 20% in engagement experience 59% less turnover.
  • Only about 34% of the US workforce feel engaged.
  • A Gallup employee engagement statistics poll reveals that 53% of workers in the US are non-engaged.
  • Nearly 66% of all employees are disengaged.
  • One in five employees is not confident that their manager will provide regular, constructive feedback on their work.
  • Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their place of work.
  • Globally, only 15% of employees are engaged in their work.

Turnover. If nothing else from these stats jumps out at you, remember that replacing an employee at the bare minimum can cost as little as 30% of the annual salary to source, hire, train, and manage a new employee, and as much as 200% of the annual salary, depending on the technicality of the role. It’s a staggering statistic that is constantly bolstered by new data from surveys and study after study.

Employee Engagement and Profits

When done properly, employee engagement can skyrocket the productivity of any team. Disengaged workers are always low in self-confidence and will seldom suggest anything new to team meetings. 

However, engaged employees have boosted confidence. They carry that positivity around other team members who are also committed to the same task. Employee engagement and fulfillment statistics has it that companies with a higher percentage of engaged workers experience the highest ROI and revenue.

Here’s how you know someone may be burning / burnt out:

  1. When someone is abstaining from meetings, hiding from their camera in Zoom meetings, and contributing less socially.
  2. When someone is always tired, always complaining of lack of energy – in life and in their work.
  3. Lack of focus, attention to detail is lost and that costs you money.
  4. Increased illness…this is a fact of life that less sleep, more stress wear down your immune system. You can expect employees to take care of themselves and there are policies and benefits programs designed to enhance employee self-care. It takes codification of company expectations to help employees manage their health sometimes.
  5. Lack of excitement / inspiration. This is something so common, you almost won’t recognize it. The manifestation of loss of inspiration is when employees consistently fail to meet deadlines and stretch goals. This is a BIG problem, because its impact is the derailment of everything you’re trying to accomplish. This can be manifested in a sales team that is pessimistic and falling short of targets. When you see this, act quickly.

Here’s how I see burnout: there is nothing more common to mankind than the occasional slump. I am that guy that can go through myriad psychological states in short order. And I’m usually pretty optimistic about new initiatives and change, but when I’m not feeling it, it takes EVERYTHING in me to meet deadlines and targets. I have to remind myself of all of my goals and retrace their relevance to my work. This is a discipline, not an innate personality trait. How we turn this into an organization-wide condition / state of mind? I don't have a concise answer for you...but I’ll talk about job design and culture in coming blogs, to name a couple approaches.

If this blog helps you, please let us know. Email CrescentHR@Crescent-Payroll.com. We don’t want to publish anything that doesn’t help people. And we want you to rely on us for relevant insights. Also, don’t forget to check out our podcast, Down the HR Rabbit Hole.

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