The Mayo Clinic offers this definition: “Job burnout is a special type of job stress – a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.”
Stressors in the workplace, such as a taxing workload, difficult timelines, lack of work / life balance and job insecurity can cause a dip in productivity at work. More than three-quarters of us lose work productivity due to stress, with 41% losing up to 30 minutes per day and 36% losing an hour or more per day, according to ComPsych’s 2012 Stress Pulse survey. Stress affects employee attendance, effectiveness and health. When employee stress escalates to the level of job burnout, it has significant consequences for the employee’s colleagues and the business itself.
Are you and your team constantly stressed and burned out? Do you struggle with missing critical deadlines? Job burnout is a phenomenon rarely discussed openly in the workplace, but experienced by many. The statistics are attention grabbing.
- Stress affects attendance: 55% of employees miss one or two days per year; 29% miss three to six days a year; 16% miss more than six days a year (ComPsych 2012 Stress Pulse survey)
- Stress affects effectiveness on the job: 46% of employees are too stressed to work effectively one to four days per year; 30% experience this five or more days per year (ComPsych 2012 Stress Pulse survey)
- 80% of American workers are dissatisfied with their jobs (Deloitte’s Shift Index survey)
- 75% of employees in most companies are not engaged, according to forty-two independent Gallop studies
- More than 1 million employees per day are absent from work due to stress-related disorders (Leadership Dojo by Strozzi-Heckler)
- Employee stress costs business $300 billion per year in absenteeism, loss of talented employees, health costs and programs to reduce stress (Leadership Dojo by Strozzi-Heckler)
The causes of workplace stress and job burnout are multiple. But several causes as (e.g., taxing workload, difficult timelines and lack of work / life balance) are amenable to improvement with additional staffing resources on an occasional basis.
What if you had access to a pool of talented professionals, either as a preventive measure to spread the workload so that employees do not burn out, or to temporarily replace a worker whose burnout has already resulted in a major health or behavioral crisis requiring absence from the job? Bringing in additional experienced, non-permanent help during specific times of the year or during particular project phases can be one of the strategies used by companies to assure that their valued employees feel supported. Departments that have already experienced the burnout of an employee (resulting in resignation or prolonged absence for physical or mental treatment) are vulnerable to additional burnout cases if the absent member’s work is expected to be taken on by remaining staff without additional help. Time and money could be saved if you bring in a contract employee with specific industry expertise. This person would be able to jump in “feet first” and get projects done efficiently with minimal guidance and training. Use of temporary professionals to support your team is an effective strategy to avoid employee burnout, keep projects running smoothly and ultimately result in higher workplace morale.