The Employee Burnout Problem: Whose Fault Is It?

On the surface, things are looking great in the United States.

Companies across the country are bringing in record profits, the unemployment rates have been basically cut in half since the beginning of the decade according to CNN Money and by the end of it, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates, the economy will grow by almost 50%…

So what can anything be wrong?

Well, according to a recent study conducted by Kronos Inc. and Future Workplace revealed that staggering 95% of human resource leaders say that employee burnout is quietly sabotaging employee retention in the United States.

And the problem is – there’s seemingly no obvious solution in sight…

The Employee Burnout Problem

The matter of fact is, employees nowadays are working harder than ever, for no additional pay or benefits. And as a result, a huge number of people is searching for new jobs. Most of the HR leaders in the aforementioned study admitted that improving employee retention is their top priority…

Since the turn of the century, employee productivity has skyrocketed, however, the benefits and payments have remain stagnant. According to findings from the Economic Policy Institute, on one hand, productivity has increased more than 21%, on the other, wages grew less than 2% in the same period…

At the core of the problem lies this – the standard 9-to-5 workday doesn’t really exist in the modern workplace. According to Gallup estimations, full-time workers now work more than 47 hours each week. And with the tech advancements, workers are expected to respond to business matters anytime…

Looking from the outside in, you’d think that this benefits companies. However, that’s also wrong, because recent research has proven that employee burnout costs anywhere between $125 and $190 billion every year in healthcare costs in the United States. But true costs of this are even bigger…

Who’s really to Blame Here?

If we want to talk about the true costs of employee burnout, we also have to think about the high turnover rates, the loss of productivity and the loss of top talent across multiple industries. The question is – whose fault is this – are employees today simply too ambitious for their own good?

While in some cases, that’s the truth… Overall, employers need to step up and own up their roles in creating so much stress in the workplace that employees are starting to feel completely burned out. Once the higher-ups manage to confront the problem at the organizational level, they’ll be able to use proper measures to address it.

According to book Time, Talent and Energy, when workers aren’t productive as they could be, more often than not, it’s the fault of their organization. Thr same basic principle applies to the burnout issue, because when you look at companies that suffer from it, you usually see the same culprits…

Excessive Collaboration

Possibly the biggest problem in this case is excessive collaboration. Since most organizations are complaining about the lack of collaboration in their offices, you might be wondering, how can you really have too much collaboration?

Well, this problem manifests itself in things like endless meetings and calls. Most companies these days require collaboration simply far beyond that’s needed to get the job done. For example, did you know that – as Harvard Business Review reports – an average executive receives more than 200 emails almost every day… and if that doesn’t seem like much to you, nothing does…

And that’s not all, frontline supervisors spend almost 8 hours every week reading and responding to emails and other ways of e-communication, including instant and text messages… considering that almost every business out there has access to a modern, robust project collaboration tool, this fact is simply unacceptable…

All in all, we can clearly see that most business executives need to work a lot on their workplace culture and employee coaching. Leaders need to, for a lack of a better term, lead their worker and establish new workplace norms and make clear that too much collaboration can indeed be a bad thing…

Lack of Time-Management Abilities

The demand for collaboration in the modern workplace has outpaced the development of organizational norms to handle it. In most cases, employees need to figure out on their own how to properly manage their time in the office in way that will reduce their stress…

They are basically left to fight their workplace culture in which overworking is not only normal, but is often celebrated. This is where business leaders need to step in and try to handle the problem. However, according to Ryan Fuller, leaders simply don’t know how much time their employees spend on various activities to contribute to the success of their organization…

Moreover, they don’t know how much time their employees loose on less-than-productive activities. Which is why companies need to start using new tools that will show them how much time their employees spend in meetings and/or online collaboration.

With this data, companies could start making specific changes in business operations that drag productivity and after a while, lead to employee burnout. According to HBR data, most business executive have a chance to free almost 20% of their workers’ time by bringing more discipline to time management in their organization…

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is this – companies need to realize just how much burnout is impacting work-lives of their staff members. For example, according a 2015 Workplace Flexibility study, more than two-thirds of companies – or roughly 67% of them – think that their employees have a good work-life balance.

You can clearly see that employers don’t even know how much time their workers spend on personal and business activities. But when employees become over-worked, they become too stressed and consequently, their health suffers the most…

A recent study conducted by Accountemps, revealed that work-related pressure has significantly increased over the last 5 years, so we have more sick days, and employees are starting to be less productive… if this trend continues, those productivity number are going to change drastically in the near future…

Hey, I’m Rory and I am the ultimate accidental geek.
Born in London I was never interested in technologies until I started a part-time job at Apple and now I can’t get enough. Join me as a help you navigate the world of tech with some of my fellow geeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *

Share This

Share this post with your fellow geeks