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Employee Burnout Is a Critical Workplace Challenge

How to stay safe from employee burnout?


Bell Labs of the 20th century gave the world the transistor, the fax machine, the communication satellite, the solar battery, and nine Nobel Prizes. Not to mention Claude Shannon’s theory of information, which had impact on everything digital from Voyager’s mission into deep space to the development of the Internet.

Its secret? Bell Labs gave people freedom. People were free to work on the projects they’d chosen without an immediate pay-off in sight. Workspaces were both conducive to communication and introvert-friendly, where people faced no judgement for keeping their office doors closed. In fact, Shannon was often seen juggling while riding a unicycle along the building corridors.

Claude Shannon. Credit Konrad Jacobs. CC BY-SA 2.0 DE

How to stay safe from employee burnout?

Most companies are not as awash with money as Bell Labs used to be, and a lot more pressure is applied to employees. The work overload, feeling unappreciated, the stress of being micromanaged, and other factors often lead to burnout. Such employees often quit or become quiet saboteurs, further increasing overall stress in the workplace. The vicious cycle continues.

Kronos and Future Workplace Study

In 2017, a study by Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace revealed that the problem of burnout exists on a massive scale, with 95% of HR specialists admitting that burnout affects staff retention. A total of 614 HR leaders managing organisations with 100 to 2,500+ employees were surveyed.

How does burnout affect workplace turnover?

  • 46% of HR leaders thought burnout causes between 20 and 50% of annual turnover
  • 10% thought burnout causes more than 50% of turnover
  • The problem was particularly pronounced in larger organisations with 2,500+ employees

What did HR leaders think the causes of burnout were?

  • Unfair pay (cited by 41% of the surveyed)
  • High workload (32%)
  • Too much overtime (32%)
  • Poor management (30%)
  • No alignment with the corporate strategy (29%)
  • Negative workplace culture (26%)
  • Inadequate technology (cited by 20% and is more common in larger organisations)

Most HR leaders (87%) thought that improving retention was a critical priority. Competing priorities, outdated HR tech, and the lack of executive support and organisational vision were mentioned as the biggest obstacles to reducing burnout and employee turnover. As a result, many organisations were still investing more in recruiting and training new employees rather than retaining their existing workforce.


How to prevent employee burnout?

If you care about your employees and they form a real asset to your company, it is time to use Traqq.

Traqq is a time tracking application and employee monitoring software that you can use to monitor and track your tasks, activities and hours. And if you’re managing employees, you can easily monitor the productivity of your staff with online timesheets and build in rewards to motivate your team.

Useful Resources

1. Kronos employee burnout crisis study

2. Factors that contribute to employee burnout

3. Tell-tale signs of employee burnout

4. Recognizing and preventing burnout

5. How could an employer prevent workforce burnout

6. An epic guide on burnout prevention from Neil Patel