The definition of challenging work in the modem environment
has changed, fewer people are involved in manual labour and more workers are
taking on more mentally demanding jobs that put more of a strain on their inner
self as opposed to their body. This has put forward different challenges for
health and safety professionals who are now having to change the way they safeguard
the safety of their workers. Here we will discuss the phenomenon of employee
burnout and the negative effect it can have on your workplace.
What is workplace burnout?
has become something of a buzzword in recent years but what exactly does the
term mean? Burn out is defined by many as a state of emotional and mental
exhaustion which is usually brought about periods of intense work and stress.
The symptoms include feelings of being overwhelmed and mentally drained. A
recent study found that of 7,500 full-time employees found themselves operating
in ‘burnout mode’.
Many confuse the phenomenon of workplace stress and
burnout. The fundamental difference is that stress can be good for your
employees. Good stress can increase a person’s motivation and lead to increased
workplace performance. Burnout, however, has no positives. If long term stress
develops into burnout it can lead to chronic stress and fatigue which can
seriously impair our cognitive skills. From a health and safety perspective,
employers should take all the necessary steps to ensure stress does not develop
into burnout for employees.
What causes burnout in
Many studies into the health and safety of employees found
that key contributors to burnout included a fundamental lack of role clarity
and understanding of the time constraints around particular tasks. Contributing factors to burnout include a lack
of proper health and wellbeing support services in workplaces designed to deal
with the mental and emotional demands of employment.
How can burnout negatively
impact my business and my employees?
Whilst many focus on the impact burnout can have on the
individual this inevitably has further impacts on the organization as a whole.
Many recorded negatives include a drop in productivity, a drop in employee
morale and also decreased employee retention. All these factors can have a
serious impact on the bottom line of your business.
Steps to mitigate employee
When it comes to managing the mental health and safety of
your employees having the right support systems in place is crucial. Make sure
you have designated time to catch up with people and attempt to provide
rewarding and autonomous work where possible. Additionally seeking expert
health and safety advice will also assist you in getting the best out of your