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Once Your Employee Lost Trust You Cannot Gain It Back
[Image: 3067319-poster-p-1-how-employee-burnout-...fix-it.jpg]

HR managers can stem workers' mounting dissatisfaction, but they say they need better tools to do it.

You'd be forgiven for feeling a little burned out from hearing about burnout. For years, experts have been sounding alarms that modern workers are struggling with career-sinking levels of chronic exhaustion and other issues.
So when Charlie DeWitt, vice president of business development at Kronos, a workforce management software company, declares that "employee burnout has reached epidemic proportions," you may think you've heard it all before. But according to new research by Kronos and Future Workplace, burnout really is getting even worse and more widespread, and so are the consequences of it. This time around, there are some surprising reasons why—and a few steps employers can take right away to turn things around.

Kronos and Future Workplace surveyed 614 U.S. human resources professionals at organizations with 100 to over 2,500 employees. The result: 46% of respondents blame burnout for up to half of their staff quitting each year.
These HR managers and executives believe that three factors are contributing to all that burnout:

Unfair compensation (41%)
Unreasonable workload (32%)
Too much overtime or after-hours work (32%)
The survey also found that the bigger the company, the more likely it is to burn you out. Larger organizations are more likely to have exhausted employees. Fifteen percent of HR leaders at companies with more than 2,500 employees say burnout causes 50% or more annual turnover, as opposed to 10% turnover at smaller firms with less than 500 on staff.
The consequences by now are clear. Burnout, according to this and other surveys, leads first and foremost to lack of engagement (another HR crisis many of us have grown fatigued of hearing about). No wonder that Gallup's most recent survey on the issue found only 33.1% of respondents reporting that they're engaged at work, while a 2015 study by the Marcus Buckingham Company, a management consultancy, found only 19% of U.S. employees saying they're involved, enthusiastic, and committed to their jobs.
Nowhere has this so-called (forgive me for this one) epidemic of burnout been clearer than in health care. Fast Company previously reported on the results of a survey of nearly 9,000 registered nurses, more than one-third of whom said they wanted to quit their jobs. The nurses listed a variety of reasons, including not enough time spent with patients, inadequate pay, long hours, an unmanageable workload, not enough staff, and lack of support from management. This prompted Marcia Faller, RN, PhD, chief clinical officer at AMN Healthcare, to tell us at the time, "The harm to the health-care industry goes beyond the numbers. The loss of this intellectual asset may be acutely felt in terms of quality of care and patient satisfaction."
Faller's assessment could apply just as well to any employer, no matter the industry. All those bad feelings—whether workers feel taken for granted or overworked and underpaid, or any combination of similar grievances—certainly back up findings from yet another recent study, by Oregon State, in which the majority (52.1%) of people who quit their jobs burn bridges in the process—by walking out without notice, trying to harm the company, or some other display of ill will.
The Kronos/Future Workplace survey found that while burnout due to too much work and too little pay is a problem, those are not the only contributing factors. There are some others that HR professionals can control, without having to pump more money into everyone's paychecks.
Among them: poor management, employees seeing no clear connection of their role to corporate strategy, and a negative workplace culture. Fast Company recently reported that corporate culture and values are becoming ever more important, both in terms of making a workplace inspiring and how much it resonates based on how much a person earns.

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