Is your team experiencing burnout? The start of the new year is the ideal time to evaluate how supportive your workplace is. In most cases, burnout isn’t a personal issue but an organizational one. It is up to companies to create a work environment that combats burnout.


The Problem with Burnout

Burnout refers to the mental or physical breakdown that happens when people are overworked and overstressed. Workplace stress can cause anxiety, depression, fatigue, and more. According to a study by the World Health Organization, it also costs the global economy around $1 trillion dollars from a loss of productivity. Not only do companies that have high levels of burnout suffer from decreased productivity, they also experience higher healthcare costs, higher turnover, and lower retention.


What Causes Workplace Burnout

Some of the main reasons people experience burnout include experiencing unjust treatment at work, an overwhelming workload, responsibilities that are unclear, poor communication from management, and/or pressing deadlines.


Generational issues also affect burnout. Many millennials have high expectations. They want careers that they’re passionate about that also give them the compensation and stability they need to thrive, but these jobs can be hard to come by. They also grew up distracted by a fast-paced, information-driven world. They feel the expectation to work long hours, and can even feel somewhat guilty when they take time for themselves.


Together, all these factors have made work more stressful than ever before. Most of the issues that lead to burnout are systemic features of the organization or of society. They’re outside the control of the employees. Thus, it’s the leadership’s job to have a strategy in place to prevent burnout in the workplace.


Why Does It Matter?

Companies that invest in the physical and mental well-being of their employees will reap all kinds of benefits. Sharing a clear vision for the company’s future and explaining how each person can impact this mission is important. Having a company culture that prioritizes health and wellness will help you attract and retain better talent, improve your revenue, and increase the productivity of your team. You will start to gain a reputation for valuing your employees, which will give you an advantage in this competitive market.


What Can You Do to Prevent and Alleviate Burnout?

Organizations can start by evaluating their current culture and examining which areas need improvement. Focus on treating employees fairly. This may mean a greater focus on diversity and inclusivity. It may also mean more communication as well as support and encouragement. Maybe you are demanding and expecting too much or have too stringent project deadlines in place. Transparency is also important so that your team members know exactly what is expected of them. The point is to always be improving your culture and foster an environment that truly supports and appreciates your most important asset, your employees.


Meanwhile, candidates who experience continual burnout will start to seek out recruiters in hopes of finding a company that puts more effort into employee health and wellness. As an employer, if you want to continue to attract and retain top talent you have to create a supportive workplace that allows your team members to thrive.


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