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Escape the Employee Burnout Epidemic

Picture this: you're at work. You look at the clock. Ten minutes until a meeting, and you think, Ugh, another meeting. Why do we even have these? They're such a waste of time. Walk into the meeting room, politely smile at a few colleagues, prepare to take some notes, and before you know it – "Chris, what do you think about that?" 

Cripes, you weren't even listening.

You answer the question, grab some coffee before heading back to your desk to move along with your day and again– "Hey, did you have a chance to finish up that project?"

Whoops, you completely forgot about that.

You stay until 6 because you got in a few minutes late and the office is still full, head home a to leftover dinner and sit and fondly remember days where you were practically running those meetings. You used to think this job was going somewhere, used to feel like you were conquering projects and shining in the eyes of your boss, but those days are long gone. On top of it all, you think to yourself, I don't make enough money for this. 

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Employee burnout is a real thing, and nearly half of HR leaders in the U.S. think it's the reason for almost half (46%) of annual workforce turnover. With such an obvious problem, you'd think the focus would now be on employee retention, but you'd be wrong – 97% of HR leaders planned to increase their investment in recruiting technology by 2020.

This begs the question, Is employee burnout worth addressing, or is it inevitable?

If your company employs more than a single person who is burned out, it is absolutely 100% worth addressing. In almost every case of employee burnout, it is caused by an issue with the company and not the person. So, how can you fix it?

1. Talk to your employees.

Ask them what's working for them, what isn't. If you only discuss this once a year, up the frequency and meet monthly or quarterly. Go in with an open mind and don't take anything they say personally. Remember – this is the feedback you need to make your company a better place to work

2. Pay attention to workloads.

Unloading the most work onto the most capable is, in theory, a good and reliable tactic, but in practice you're smothering the best and brightest with a heavier workload and letting the less talented skate by. Take a deeper look at who is responsible for what, keeping workloads as even as possible. There is a difference between a highly skilled overworked employee and and under-skilled and inefficient one, but the difference is small. Let your proficient team members shine and don't turn a blind eye to those who struggle from the beginning.

3. Cut down on the meetings.

Creative people only have so much juice to run on in a single day. Do you really want them to waste any of it talking to you about a schedule or answering questions about something? If you have a creative team, there's a good chance they only benefit from certain meetings– others are situations that could be solved with an email (if you see one of these mugs in your office, take a hint). Don't cut out all face-to-face chats with your people, but try not to go crazy on the conference room time. For many, meetings throw a block right in the middle of a creative and productive day.

4. Stop emailing on weekends.

You probably don't do this, right? You're in the smaller percentage of the country? Unlikely, since over half of adults in the U.S. say monitoring emails outside of the workplace is routine, with almost 70 percent of employees under 30 saying it isn't a problem. But here's the thing: it IS. In one Fortune 500 company, they found that for every hour a superior worked outside of work hours, their team worked an average of 20 minutes away from the office. So, even if you expect an email to go unanswered until Monday morning, your employees assume otherwise.

Overworked, poorly compensated employees can only go so far at a company. Extend the life of your team and nip these problems (company-wide) in the bud. Your business's future success depends on it.

Posted: 3/14/2018 12:21:57 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments