Employee burnout is becoming an issue for companies all over the world. And if the trends are to be believed, it’s going to become more prevalent in the years to come. The impact is overwhelming. According to one article, in 2019 there was an increase in stress and burnout incidents reported. The result had an impact on workplace cultures actually causing them to decline.
Employee burnout cases have increased to the point where the World Health Organization has officially recognized it as an occupational phenomenon. In fact, the WHO has included it in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. The handbook describes burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
For employees potentially dealing with employee burnout, the Mayo Clinic suggests these questions be asked:
Have you become cynical or critical at work?
Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
Do you find it hard to concentrate?
Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
Have your sleep habits changed?
Gallup recently surveyed more than 7,500 full-time employees about burnout. 23 percent of those workers said they felt burned out more often than not. An additional 44 percent reported feeling burned out sometimes. To put that into context, nearly two-thirds of full-time workers are dealing with burnout at some point while at work.
As a result, those employees were nearly three times as likely to start looking for another job. Additionally, Ginger, an on-demand behavioral health provider, says 50 percent have missed at least one day.
Like with so many other things, there are a lot of different issues that feed into an employee suffering from burnout.
According to Skye Learning, some of those include a perceived negative workplace culture, bad manager relationships and work-life balance.
Other factors include discrimination in the workplace. Gallup reports 45 percent of workers in the United States say they’ve experienced discrimination or harassment in the past year. The organization also reports 70 percent of American workers hate their jobs. The reason? Their boss.
A survey from Monster.com says 94 percent of employees they surveyed reported being bullied. More than half of those, some 51 percent, say the person that bullied them was their boss or other supervisor. The report outlined the form of that bullying as well. Respondents say they felt bullied as a result of aggressive email tones, gossip or being yelled at by someone.
Combatting Employee Burnout
Dealing with employee burnout can seem difficult. The reality is there are so many factors that no one HR department can address every single one all the time. Going back to the Mayo Clinic, the organization suggests employees should handle burnout by taking action.
Evaluate your options.Discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Maybe you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Try to set goals for what must get done and what can wait.
Seek support.Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends or loved ones, support and collaboration might help you cope. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of relevant services.
Try a relaxing activity.Explore programs that can help with stress such as yoga, meditation or tai chi.
Get some exercise.Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with stress. It can also take your mind off work.
Get some sleep.Sleep restores well-being and helps protect your health.
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath flow and being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment. In a job setting, this practice involves facing situations with openness and patience, and without judgment.
Human resources professionals must be on the lookout at all times for signs of burnout. When those signs are present, jump in and take action. The sooner these issues are managed, the better off the employee will be as will the company. In a lot of ways, simply caring for employees can go a long way in staving off employee burnout.
Want to know more about employee burnout and how to combat it? Listen to our podcast with Parkland Health and Hospital Chief Experience Officer Vishal Bhalla.
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