Understanding workplace burnout
Over half the US workforce is currently on the burnout spectrum. According to a 2021 survey by Indeed, 52% of workers surveyed reported experiencing some form of burnout—up 10% from the same survey conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As stress at home increases—like living through a global pandemic for an indeterminate amount of time—the ability to handle stress at work diminishes, leaving many feeling exhausted and drained in their daily routine. HR Leaders and managers will need to address chronic burnout as a real problem or face negative impacts, including high turnover and lowered productivity. For example, a 2021 NIH study found that for every 1-point increase in reported emotional exhaustion, there is a 12% increase in turnover.
Failure to address burnout doesn’t simply end with your organization losing employees. Left unaddressed, burnout becomes a chronic condition, which you may inherit in new team members. Burnout then becomes a vicious cycle for the individual and the group.
Burnout, or burnout syndrome, is the resulting set of symptoms from unaddressed chronic stress—most often stress in the workplace. You can identify burnout by noticing common symptoms in your employees or watching for a sudden transition between stages.
The top causes of burnout from workplace stress are:
Modern Health commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study on workplace burnout, where they asked 1200+ employees and 500+ HR leaders and C-level executives about their impressions of changing mental health benefits in the workplace.
The results showed a worrying trend for the future of coping with workplace stress. According to the Forrester study, 67% of executive leaders and 54% of HR leaders say they intend to return to their pre-pandemic mental health strategy in the next year—levels of care and resources that simply won’t be enough for the new normal their employees face.
And although 64% of executive leaders reported that they were supporting their managers to identify burnout across departments, 49% of managers surveyed said they didn’t have the tools they needed to help their employees with their mental health. This level of disconnect can lead to burnout among your most valuable workers who are culture carriers and productive employees, a group known as Tired Rockstars.
The challenge with Tired Rockstars is they’re the group organizations rely on to influence culture and perceptions, demonstrate desired behaviors, and set an optimistic tone for the workforce. The more an employee stays in this burnt-out-but-engaged space, the harder those objectives become.
To learn the best ways to identify and manage burnout in your employees, you can listen to guest speaker, Forrester Analyst, Jonathan Roberts, and Dr. Cynthia Castro Sweet, Senior Director of Clinical Research at Modern Health, discuss "How to Deal with Burnout in the Future of Work." You'll get an in-depth look at recent workforce burnout research, gain knowledge on how to best support your workforce and learn how to keep Tired Rockstars from running themselves ragged.
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