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The Effects of Employee Burnout

December 17, 2021

By Susan Chance, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

If you had to make cutbacks to your staff or are having a hard time finding employees during this very long pandemic, you and your staff are likely overworked and suffering from the prolonged situation. Long gone is the thought that we had to hunker down for a mere three weeks to get past the threat of COVID. And just when we thought we were getting somewhere with the vaccines, the variants reared their ugly heads. Employees are burnt out.

Even if it is for a reason other than the pandemic, being short staffed can take its toll on employees and the business. There are many articles expounding on the pitfalls of having an overworked staff. Some of the signs that employees are over worked are:

Increased Injuries and/or Health Issues

As many studies have shown, stress can have a negative effect on health. When employees are sicker, they will miss more time from work, and productivity can suffer. One of the other ways stress can impact health is by causing sleep disruptions. One study from 2018 showed that 66% of American workers stated they have trouble sleeping due to work related stress. Tired people are more susceptible to workplace accidents.

Habitual Lateness/Employees Calling in Sick

The American Institute of Stress shared that somewhere around 1 million workers miss work every day due to stress. Back in 2013, a Gallup poll showed that loss of productivity from employees missing work cost employers $84 billion. Can you imagine how much that amount has grown since then?

High Employee Turnover

A phrase we have been hearing a lot recently is the “Great Resignation.” Depending on what article you read, or what study you review, anywhere from 25% – 95% of employees are considering making the move to a new employer. Employee turnover is another area that costs employers. It can cost employers 6 to 9 months’ worth of salary to hire and train a replacement for a salaried employee.

Loss of Productivity and Decreased Customer Satisfaction

When employee stress causes productivity to go down, customers suffer along with employers. It could be a missed deadline or mistakes made in the work due to over stressed and over tired employees. Whatever the reason, when clients are not satisfied you may not only lose their business, but with that business you can lose referrals for new business.

Everyone Being Treated the Same

You might think something like treating all employees the same is a good thing, and in many ways it is. However, this instance calls to mind how people are all different and our skills and efforts reflect that. If someone is new in their career and therefore the skill level is not fully developed, it would not be fair to treat that person the same as another person on the team with many years of experience when it comes to their output.

Being new on a job is stressful. Being held to a standard that is above the current skill level will add more stress. This is not to say that employees should not be coached/mentored to a higher level of production, it just means that employers should be realistic and fair in their expectations.

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