Helping you make sense
of the evolving HR landscape.

Is employee burnout hurting your bottom line?

Posted on: April 27th, 2017 | Category: Employee Relations, Human Resources, Our Blog

employee burnout myhr blogJust like a broken down car, a burned out workforce will not take your business where it needs to go. And as much as some people would like to paint employee burnout as completely based in personal issues, it is more often than not a sign of serious organizational problems within a company.

What’s more, employers who don’t recognize and correct the kinds of workplace problems that lead to burnout risk hurting their company’s bottom line. Things like very heavy workloads, feelings of job insecurity, frustrations with massive amounts of meetings and impossible deadlines fraught with roadblocks create a toxic workplace environment where employees feel frustrated and stressed out.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, employee burnout costs an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion in American healthcare spending on psychological and physical problems it causes each year. But the real cost to businesses can be far greater because of issues such as low productivity and high turnover rates as great employees leave toxic environments for greener pastures.

When Harvard Business Review looked inside companies with high burnout rates, they found these common problems:

We saw three common culprits: excessive collaboration, weak time management disciplines, and a tendency to overload the most capable with too much work. These forces not only rob employees of time to concentrate on completing complex tasks or for idea generation, they also crunch the downtime that is necessary for restoration.

Excessive collaboration may prevent progress

Poor time management practices and overloading top performers are issues that are fairly obvious causes of employee burnout. Excessive collaboration, on the other hand, may seem counterintuitive on its face. The article explains that this situation arises when teams have too many decision makers and too many decision-making steps. “This can happen in companies that really do mean well,” says Tina Hamilton, PHR, myHR Partner president. Going overboard on collaboration often leads to a cycle of endless meetings, hordes of emails and scheduling nightmares—all without significantly moving a project forward. “Stress can lead to personality clashes and get in the way of pragmatic, timely decision making and progress. You can see how this can lead to burnout.”

This being said, collaboration itself—when done right—is often a great thing for work teams. Hamilton recommends having a clear strategy and sensible team organization before collaborative projects begin in order to decrease frustration and to keep things from getting bogged down with meetings, emails and red tape.

Other causes of employee burnout mentioned in the article include:

  • The new “always-on digital workplace”
  • Constant multitasking that leads to exhaustion and lack of focus on any one task
  • Rigid approaches to team objectives that do not allow for re-prioritizing when new tasks are added or outside situations change
  • Managers who do not know how much time employees spend on activities, meetings, etc.
  • Lack of tools and training for employees to handle tasks
  • A corporate culture in which overwork is expected or celebrated
  • A sense of lost autonomy among employees

As we have blogged about in the past, the danger of overworking employees is real. They will feel disrespected or unappreciated, and they won’t stay—especially if they are talented. As an HR outsourcing company that often helps clients avoid expensive, time-sucking high employee turnover rates, we can tell you burnout will burn your company. It’s just a matter of time.

Want to find ways to decrease employee burnout and still increase your bottom line?

We can help! We take a strategic, broad approach to maintain a positive, productive and profitable workforce that values both the employees and the employer. Our team of HR experts is here to help you achieve your workforce goals. Email us, or call us at 610-443-0119 to discuss how myHR Partner’s myHR DirectLink Services can help your business.

Tell Me More!
Please fill out the form below or call 610.443.0119 to learn more about what our modern HR services can do for you. We’ll get back to you within one business day—most likely less!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

myHR Partner’s periodic publication, MODERN EMPLOYER, is created for business executives, owners and HR professionals who want to maximize their human resource functions using progressive hiring and HR strategies. It’s informative, fun and practical. Oh, and it’s FREE too!

You’ll discover:

  • Tips on hiring, screening, and interviewing
  • Creative ideas to help retain your best employees
  • Ways to put the “human” back in Human Resources
  • How to perform effective reference checks
  • New HR regulations and how they affect you and your employees
  • How small changes in certain processes can have big results
  • How to tell when partnering with an outside provider is in your best interest
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.