Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reversing Burnout

Companies with apathetic, burned-out employees are at risk of hampered productivity, while the workers themselves face health risks. Most at risk are employees who work long hours, do monotonous tasks or have been in the same job for a long time. To help, HR leaders first need to listen to what workers have to say.

Burned out and looking for a way out? That seems to be the case for many employees.
A recent study at the University of Zaragosa in Spain found that two key factors -- workplace stress (mainly monotony and feeling overburdened) and a perceived lack of recognition -- are the prime factors in employee burnout.
At the same time, a recent study by Mercer reports that about one in three (32 percent) U.S. employees are looking to leave their jobs, while another 21 percent have rock-bottom scores on key measures of engagement.
"The business consequences of this erosion in employee sentiment are significant, and clearly the issue goes far beyond retention," says Mindy Fox, a senior partner at New York-based Mercer and the firm's U.S. Region Leader.
"Diminished loyalty and widespread apathy can undermine business performance, particularly as companies increasingly look to their workforces to drive productivity gains and spur innovation," she says.
But, there are ways to reduce burnout and negative feelings by following some obvious, but often neglected, steps, say HR experts. And unless employers change their workplace culture and philosophy, many of them may take major productivity hits because of such a situation.
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