79 per cent of workers are burned-out
79 per cent of workers are experiencing some level of burnout with nearly half of UK workers (48 per cent) showing signs of moderate to severe burnout – only second to Japan (50 per cent). This is according to The O.C. Tanner Institute’s 2020 Global Culture Report which surveyed 20,000 employees and leaders across the world including almost 2,000 from the UK. The impacts of burnout are significant, impacting employee health, engagement and performance as well as staff turnover.
The World Health Organisation has officially classified burnout as a syndrome related to ‘chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. The symptoms include mental and physical exhaustion, a feeling of futility and the employee intentionally distancing themselves from their work such as through absenteeism. With burnout more pervasive than ever before, the effects are unprecedented. 95 per cent of HR leaders admit burnout is hurting retention at their organisations, contributing to up to one-half of annual workforce turnover.
“UK businesses are experiencing very challenging times with burnout proving detrimental to employees’ physical and psychological health and their ability to perform, ultimately curbing organisational success”, says Robert Ordever, Managing Director of workplace culture specialist, O.C. Tanner Europe.
When a company has employees with moderate-to-severe burnout, it is 376 per cent less likely to have highly engaged employees. There is also a 87 per cent decrease in the likelihood of employees’ staying, a 22 per cent decreased work output and a 41 per cent decrease in the perception of the employee experience.
Even mild burnout is having a negative impact on business with companies seeing a 220 per cent decrease in the probability of highly engaged employees.
Poor workplace culture is identified as a major cause of burnout leading to a 157 per cent increase in the incidence rate of moderate-to-severe burnout. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the report highlights that when companies treat their people as merely workers, rather than people, often expecting them to do more with less, employees are more likely to feel burned out.
“To turn the tide, it’s vital that companies start to measure burnout, understand how their organisational culture could be precipitating it and then take steps to create a less stressful working environment”, says Ordever. “Failure to do this will see an escalation in the number of struggling organisations while wider society is forced to shoulder the burden of burnout and its strangulating effects.”