Employee Wellbeing | Article

Here’s What We Know About Burnout (And What We Can Do)

Burnout can affect anyone, including your most passionate employees.

There a lot of questions surrounding burnout. What are the reasons employees burn out? Who is affected the most? Does it have a lasting impact?

We can start answering these questions with Deloitte’s workplace burnout survey. We’ve come prepared with not only the research, but also some tips for what to do!

Passion may not prevent stress.

We live in a culture of pursuing passions. “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” But just because we are passionate about our work doesn’t mean we won’t experience stress. About 87% of professionals surveyed say they have passion for their current job. Yet, 64% say they are frequently stressed.

What to do: Avoid putting too much emphasis on passion. Passionate employees are not immune to stress or burnout. Also make sure you’re checking in with even your most passionate employees, too.

Companies may not be doing enough.

It seems like companies aren’t doing enough to minimize burnout – Or at least that’s what employees think. Nearly 70% of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout at their organization. Plus, 21% say their company doesn’t offer programs or initiatives to prevent or alleviate burnout.

What to do: Don’t just say you care about your employees’ wellbeing – act on it. Put programs in place, train managers, and teach employees how to spot signs of burnout.

Culture plays a role.

According to a Qualtrics survey, only 27% of employees used all their PTO in 2021. Plus 49% do at least an hour of work per day they’re on vacation. Some company cultures are all about grinding and may create a negative perception around taking time off.

Back to the Deloitte survey: The top driver of burnout cited was lack of support or recognition from leadership. Some leaders will give excuses like not having enough time or thinking recognition is just fluffy, feel-good nonsense.

What to do: As a leader, set the tone. Create a culture that prioritizes time off. Set the example from the top down and lean into team work so employees feel like the business can go on when they’re on PTO. In addition, make time for recognition weekly or daily. Craft a recognition program that will truly make your employees feel appreciated.

Millennials are affected the most.

Although burnout is present in every generation, it is a bit more prominent for millennials. Out of all respondents, 77% said they’ve experienced burnout at their current job, compared to 84% of millennials. Plus, almost half of millennials say they have left a job because of burnout, compared to 42% of all respondents.

What to do: Get to know and understand your millennial employees so you can best support them. Their generation deeply cares about the world around them and seeks out a sense of purpose in careers. Connect them to your company’s mission and causes to foster a more meaningful work environment.

Burnout knows no bounds.

Burnout is far-reaching. It affects so many people and has negative impacts on both work and personal life. On the work side, 91% of respondents say having an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration negatively impacts the quality of their work. On the personal side, 83% of respondents say burnout from work can negatively impact their personal relationships.

What to do: Frequently check-in with employees. Ask how their workload is and make sure it’s not overwhelming. If it is, find out ways you can assist. Checking in also means caring about your employees’ personal lives too. Facilitate genuine conversations and be on the lookout for signs that work stress might be affecting their personal life.

Burnout can affect anyone. As people leaders our job is to do what we can to prevent it. But some employees will still burn out, so keep an eye out for signs. Figure out how you can alleviate it. And don’t forget to prioritize self-care! You can’t help your employees thrive when you are experiencing burnout.