Employee Burnout is a Problem with the Company, Not the Person
Employee burnout is a situation that occurs as a result of both the physical and emotional exhaustion of a worker. A lot of stress and frustration can be the causes of why an employee could be experiencing burnout.
Having too much work and a short deadline to finish it or experiencing way too many expectations coming either from the company or your own self are the most common reasons for employee burnout.
Companies tend to view this problem as an employee’s fault, rather than their own.
However, poor organization of the company, too little time given to complete the task or too much pressure put on the employees is a problem that is frequently causing them to feel stressed out and eventually resign from the workplace.
Many people think that the burnout phenomenon is common only among people with low-paying and repetitive jobs, but it is usually present in higher positions as well.
Employee burnout is a major problem that is often put aside and not given much thought to. Nowadays, it is present in all types of careers. It is important to address it as soon as it’s noticed in order to prevent the cost both for the company and the worker.
There are a lot of reasons why the company is the main contributor to burnout among employees. Reading this article can be a helpful tool for recognizing burnout and finding the causes for it, as well as preventing it from happening.
RECOGNIZING A BURNOUT
It is necessary to know what burnout is and what are the most common signs of it in order to successfully address it and prevent it in the workplace. Having burned-out employees can lead to many difficulties when running a business.
This is why employers must keep an eye on the health and well-being of their employees, but also pays attention to the system of the company in order to ensure that it is not the cause of frequent burnouts.
Of course, not all employees will show the same symptoms of burnout. These are just a few obvious signs that can show the first stages of burnout:
If it is noticeable that many employees are constantly tired, it might not be their personal life activities affecting that.
The cause of extreme tiredness at work can be way too much pressure and stress in the workplace.
Overworking or working overtime are usually the most common causes of burnout, so reducing the need for those will make the number of tired workers drop significantly.
2. Constant Sickness
Stress can be the cause of many different health problems, so if the employees are frequently getting sick, that can be a sign that there is way too much stress in the workplace. According to Harvard Business Review:
“The psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees, which cost an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the U.S.”
Apart from low productivity, workers that are constantly sick will have more time off work, which can result in stagnation in the business, especially if there are a lot of employees away from work at the same time.
3. Lacking Focus
If employees that are known for being great at their job are starting to show signs of bad concentration or they lack efficiency – that might be a sign that they are way too tired or stressed to do their work.
If they are frequently making mistakes when working, that can show that they are possibly overworked, so that is why they are unable to finish their tasks well.
WHY ARE COMPANIES RESPONSIBLE FOR EMPLOYEE BURNOUT?
Poorly organized companies tend to have a higher number of employees experiencing burnout. This can cause the worker’s performance to drop and the company to work less efficiently.
Frequently experiencing burnouts can also cause a lot of health issues to an employee, which then results in him being away from the workplace and not being productive.
If the company is not well-managed and the individual workers are not given enough attention to, the company could suffer a major loss even from a financial point of view.
This is why it is important for a company to create a healthy working environment, and not cause additional stress to its workers.
Of course, it can also be the employee’s fault for experiencing a burnout, if they are, for example, too ambitious or not well organized.
However, in most cases, the overall company rules and organization are to blame when it comes to frequent burnouts among the staff.
These are the causes of why the company is responsible for its workers experiencing burnout:
- Poor Time-Management – This is one of the most obvious reasons why a burnout can occur. Nowadays, a lot of companies give various “challenges” to their employees that are time-limited.
Not having enough time to finish a task will most likely make the employee work over-time, and it will create additional stress to him because there is no time for his personal needs.
Overworking is the major cause of stress and exhaustion among workers. The work done is usually not as good as it would be if the employee had enough time to think through it and give his full attention to finishing it properly.
This is why it is necessary for a company to provide reasonable time for assigned tasks.
Another related issue is not giving the employees enough time off-work. Whether those yearly vacations or small breaks during work time, it is important to provide enough time for employees to rest.
Constant work with no pause in between will cause the employee to experience burnout symptoms way too quickly, which again results in low productivity and overall bad results.
- Extensive Collaboration – Employees often experience this type of issue, and while it is not usually viewed as a bad thing, it can cause certain problems to the worker. It has been proven that an average worker spends one full business day per week to reading and answering e-mails and receiving calls.
Harvard Business Review says:
“Our research found that senior executives now receive 200 or more emails per day.
The average frontline supervisor devotes about eight hours each week (a full business day) to sending, reading and answering e-communications—many of which shouldn’t have been sent to or answered by those managers”,
which further explains this particular problem.
Way too much unnecessary work can be overburdening to the workers, causing eventual burnout among them.
The company has to create ways of helping employees organize complicated tasks and relations in order to avoid having unproductive workers in their workplace.
On the other hand, lacking collaboration in the workplace can cause the worker to feel less motivated, which again is not good for the company.
Not filing the company’s expectations can be overwhelming for an employee and it can be the cause of a company losing its workers.
- Too Many Priorities – Giving an employee way too many tasks to complete puts him in a position where he has to multitask in order to finish everything in a given deadline. If the worker has way too much on his plate, he can soon expect the first symptoms of burnout to appear.
When multitasking, employees tend to achieve results that are not as good, opposed to being focused on only one task at the time.
If a company has way too many demands for its workers, and if the people in charge are not considering the physical and mental capability of each worker individually when creating new demands and projects, it can get pretty difficult to keep the workers motivated and in optimal shape for growing a business.
Harvard Business Review states that “switching to a new task while still in the middle of another increases the time it takes you to finish both tasks by 25%.”
This shows us that multitasking, apart from being counterproductive, is also time and energy-consuming.
- Lack of Proper Tools – When a worker is in need of certain tools to finish his project, but those are not provided to him, it can be a stressful task to think of a way to finish the project.
Companies sometimes don’t consider their own participation when assigning a task to the worker.
By being in touch with the new technology and not having outdated organization techniques, companies can ensure a slightly better performance coming from its workers.
- Inadequate Coaching – Workers that have not had enough coaching and are not fully capable to do the assigned tasks are more prone to experience burnouts.
When dealing with a task that is too complicated or challenging to a worker, it can cause him to work way too hard without good results, or even quit in some situations.
A company has to equip and coach the workers before giving them challenging tasks.
- Putting Pressure on People in Highest-Positions – As mentioned before, a lot of people with well-paid jobs that are in high positions are often experiencing burnouts. That happens because there are a lot of expectations coming both from the company or the other employees. They are the first ones to experience burnouts because their knowledge and experience are always needed. Related to the time management issue, people in higher positions tend to lose twice as much time on replying to e-mails and booking meetings than a regular worker would. Way too much responsibility is why they can get stressed out way quicker than a regular worker.
- Lack of Financial Rewarding – If an employee is working very hard over a long period of time and not receiving any benefits or promotions, he will eventually start to feel less motivated to work and achieve better results. Working overtime is usually required, but not often rewarded. Workers that have salaries that don’t match their position and are smaller than they should be are more prone to experiencing burnouts because they often experience feelings of disappointment and anger.
- Too Much Control – Certain companies tend to control their employees way too much in order for them to achieve better results. Not allowing the employees to make their own decisions and have power over their work is not beneficial for the workers, and it is also bad for the company. Almost everyone needs independence and a flexible workplace that will allow them to grow in their field, and only in that way will the company grow too.
- Negativity in the Workplace – Working in an unhealthy environment filled with negativity will make the employees feel bed when going to work, again causing them to achieve worse results than they should.
Bullying in the workplace is a common problem that often goes unnoticed but it is a very serious thing. It is proven that
This is tightly connected to experiencing burnouts that are caused by problems in the workplace.
PREVENTING EMPLOYEE BURNOUTS
Employers need to be aware of all the disadvantages that employee burnout can cause to their business.
The most obvious one is having a major loss from the financial point of view.
For example, unproductive employees that don’t contribute to the growth of a company can be the reason why the company is not achieving goals in the financial sphere.
Other than that, if a lot of employees are resigning from the workplace, it can create additional costs for the company to find new workers and put the financial status at stagnation due to the lack of staff.
Another problem that the company could be dealing with if a great number of employees are experiencing burnout is having a bad reputation.
If a firm is known for having outdated systems and bad working conditions causing stress among workers, it is less likely that it will improve and grow.
Finding new clients can be a difficult task, as well as finding new employees.
Preventing employee burnout from happening can only bring good things to a business.
Having effectively working staff will only contribute to the growing business by making it even bigger and more successful.
These are the things that companies should consider doing in order to prevent negative effects caused by employee burnout:
- Open Discussion – Having open and honest workers is one of the most important steps to creating a safe and productive workspace. By allowing the employees to talk about their new ideas and plans, but also their concerns and wishes, the company ensures growth and improvement.
- Recognizing and Rewarding – Letting the employee know that his work is well done and appreciating his devotion is a way of making them feel respected and valued. As mentioned above, it is important for a worker to fell this way in order to get motivated to do the job. Financial rewarding is also a great way to boost the worker’s willpower. Letting them know that their work is greatly contributing to the company will make them work even better than they did before.
- Ensuring Proper Rest – When the workers have enough time to rest from work, they will do their job more efficiently when it’s time to work. By regulating the amount of time the workers have to rest and having proper rest stations, companies ensure effective and productive work from their workers.
- Limiting Workload – The most important thing that causes employee burnout is having too much unmanageable work. That is why companies should do research on how much work do employees actually do and try to set some boundaries and limits to prevent overworking.
It is important to give support to the employees by doing this to make sure that they are doing their best while not harming their health.
- Having a Healthy Work Schedule – Companies should make sure that their work time is normal and healthy, and that the employees are able to stand the whole shift without getting exhausted.
It is also very important to limit working overtime and make sure that the employees have time for themselves after work hours. Receiving e-mails and calls from both the company and its clients can be a stressful task to complete and can lead to quicker burnouts.
- Understanding the Needs – An employer should always be aware of his worker’s needs. Whether they are in need of new tools, or there is way too much work and not enough workers, an employer should be open to making a change to make sure that everything is working at an optimal state.
Not caring for the needs of employees will most likely result in them working way too hard to finish the task, and eventually experience the symptoms of burnout.
The employee burnout phenomenon is common nowadays with all the growing firms and businesses. Most of the employers have also experienced burnout at some point, and it is an issue that every company has dealt with at least once.
There are various causes of experiencing burnout.
Some workers that are too ambitious and want to stand out might have a hard time managing their work in a healthy way, and that is why they experience burnouts. However, it is way more common that the company is to blame when these problems occur.
Employee burnout is often regarded as an employee’s fault, rather than the company’s responsibility.
Having employees experiencing burnout is not a good thing for the company, but it is more dangerous for the employee’s health. Experiencing way too much stress can have a negative impact on both mental and physical stability.
As far as the company goes, having employees that are unable to do the job due to stress can cost the business a lot of money, but also reputation.
It is important to pay attention to the signs of burnout and care about the working staff.
By creating a safe, productive and healthy environment at the workplace, companies ensure having little to no problems with the workers experiencing burnouts and keep them happy, and it will also bring a lot of success to the business itself.
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