5 ways to reduce job burnout among your employees

Employee job burnout has always been a phenomenon that employers have had to face, but today’s employees report that they are more overworked, frustrated, and dissatisfied than ever before. In fact, one recent study found that job burnout is responsible for as much as half of all workforce turnover.

Here at SurveyMonkey, we recently conducted our own survey to take a closer look at the statistics on employee burnout and the factors that affect it. Using our specialized survey techniques, we asked thousands of employees across the United States about their feelings regarding job burnout and found that 47% of them had felt burnt out during the previous six months.

Using feedback from our survey, we’ve compiled the following list of five basic strategies you can use to prevent job burnout at your organization.

1. Improve job satisfaction

It may seem obvious, but employees who are satisfied with their jobs are happier at work and far less likely to experience burnout. While every employee has different ideas when it comes to job satisfaction, we found some clear trends in our recent survey. In order to increase your employees’ job satisfaction, you can:

  • Pay employees a fair wage. Among those who felt burnt out, only 55% said they are well compensated for their work, while 72% of respondents who were not burnt out felt fairly compensated.
  • Let your employees have a say. Among employees who said that they don’t have input into how their work gets done, 68% felt burnt out, much higher than the 47% among all those surveyed.

2. Increase personal engagement

Employee engagement has become the newest catch-phrase among HR experts and for good reason. Employee engagement is essential to a healthy work culture and leads to happier, more productive employees who are less likely to miss work. In order to increase employee engagement, you can:

  • Encourage interpersonal relationships. Among employees who didn’t feel they have someone at work who cares about them, 72% felt burnt out, while 92% of people who were not burnt out said they do have someone at work who cares about them.
  • Improve work/life balance. Among those employees who were unable to balance their many work and home commitments, 80% reported feeling burnt out.
  • Let them know they matter. Among employees who felt burnt out, only 56% said their manager has their best interests in mind.

3. Give employees a visible future

Today’s employees want more than a set five-day work week or an eight-hour work day. The job benefits that employees currently care most about are those that provide them with greater flexibility, including telecommuting, four-day workweeks, and/or flexible hours where they can come in earlier or later than the standard nine-to-five shift, as long as they stay and work for the appropriate number of hours.

  • Demonstrate a clear company mission. Among employees who were not confident in the direction of their company, 76% reported feeling burnt out.
  • Provide open and honest leadership. For employees who didn’t feel that their leadership is open and honest, the burnout rate was 73%.
  • Have a clear path for career advancement. Among employees who didn’t see a clear path for advancement, the burnout rate was 70%.

4. Provide purpose

In today’s work world, a sense of purpose matters, particularly among Millennials. Companies with a strong sense of purpose and a values-driven work culture are more likely to experience lower rates of employee burnout.

  • Give meaningful work assignments. 94% of employees who foundd their work to be meaningful hadn’t felt job burnout during the previous 6 months, while 75% of those who didn’t find their work meaningful have.
  • Make your employees proud to work for your company. 93% of employees who were proud to tell people what they do for work have not felt burnt out in the last 6 months, while 80% of those who were not proud have.

5. Consider reducing employee workload

While reducing your employee’s workload may sound counterintuitive, in reality, asking less of your employees –within reason– may just result in more productive workers. One of the primary causes of job burnout is stress–which is frequently related to impractical or overwhelming workloads. Among employees who reported feeling stressed often at work, 70% reported feeling burnout. Far too many of today’s employees find that even outside of the workplace, they are working on weekends and even during vacations. And a burnt-out employee actually accomplishes less– and is far more likely to leave for another job that offers them less pressure. That leaves you down one employee and in a far less productive position overall. Some things you can do include:

  • Making workloads realistic. 32% of employees in a recent Forbes study reported that an unreasonable workload was a main contributor to their job burnout.
  • Reducing overtime and after-hours work. 32% of employees said that too much required overtime and frequent after-hours work was a main contributor to their reported burnout.
  • Allow for vacations. Vacations allow employees to rest and regenerate, and that their productivity actually increases on their return. One study found that more than half of workers in the US left their vacation time unused because they couldn’t find the time in their schedules due to an overwhelming workload.

Find out whether your employees are satisfied with their work-life balance by sending them a survey. Create survey→

While decreasing job burnout may not happen overnight, and you may not be able to implement all of these strategies within your company, adding just a few of these to your work culture can create a far more positive workplace.

Whatever strategies you use to reduce job burnout in your employees, you’ll need to start by understanding how your employees feel about their current work environment. You’ll find that at SurveyMonkey, we provide in-depth information, flexible survey templates, and a number of customizable products that can help you to reduce employee burnout at your company.