Thursday, May 28, 2009

Layoffs lead to work place burnout

From Washington Business Journal

Layoffs leave the rest of the staff behind to do more work, and a CareerBuilder survey says that is starting to take its toll.
The survey of workers at companies that have experienced layoffs finds 47 percent have taken on more work as a result with 37 percent saying they are now doing the work of two people. Nearly one third, 30 percent, say they are burned out.
To handle the extra workload, employees are spending more time at the office, working longer hours or weekends, the survey says.
“It’s critical that managers and employees work together to prioritize and to set realistic expectations, so work demands feel attainable and less overwhelming,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.
She suggests employees work with bosses to establish reasonable timelines for projects, and consider asking for flexible work arrangements.
Burnout can lead to lower levels of employee engagement, which in turn can lead to decreased productivity and can end up hurting businesses as much or more than the economic conditions that lead to the initial layoffs. Having a dialogue with employees about their levels of satisfaction, about the company's culture and effectiveness of communication can be accomplished though a simple employee engagement survey along with a follow-up action plan is well-designed and implemented.

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