The real reasons employees are 'burned out'

'Burnout can be a costly symptom of a workplace culture that doesn't prioritize employee wellbeing'

The real reasons employees are 'burned out'

It’s one thing to feel exhausted from work from time to time and another to experience burnout, yet almost all senior managers in Canada claim their teams are reeling from stress every day.

Ninety-six per cent of leaders surveyed by staffing firm Accountemps said their workers were burning out to some extent while 95% of staff reported feeling somewhat burned out.

“Burnout can be a costly symptom of a workplace culture that doesn’t prioritize employee wellbeing; it’s detrimental to both the health of the individual and the business itself,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, district president for Accountemps.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being ‘completely burned out,’ one in five team leaders estimated their employees’ level of stress and exhaustion was at 8 or higher. A similar percentage of workers (22%) rated their experience the same way. The average rating was 5.7 among senior managers and 5.6 among workers.

READ MORE: 9 tell-tale signs of employee burnout

Feeling overwhelmed
However, employers and their staff slightly disagree on the main culprit behind burnout. According to managers, workers are often stressed out over their unmanageable workload. Workers, on the other hand, cite constant interruptions as their main stressor in the workplace.

Other causes of burnout include career stagnation, having to use outdated technology and being forced to work in a toxic culture, the study found.

“It’s in an organization’s best interest to proactively help their teams manage stress levels and prevent burnout,” Vasilopoulos said. “Frequent check-ins with staff to gauge workloads, flexibility with close deadlines and leading by example in encouraging staff to disengage from work after hours can help managers set the foundation for a more productive, positive and committed workforce.”

“While there are things workers can do to combat stress throughout the day, including energizing walks with colleagues or simple desk-side stretches,” Vasilopoulos said, “employees need to speak with their supervisor if they feel mounting responsibilities have become overwhelming or unmanageable.”

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