Americans are working longer hours than ever before while taking fewer vacations. While periods of "crunch time" can be expected from any job, working that hard for too long is a sure recipe for burned-out employees.
According to a workforce trends study recently completed by Kronos Inc. and Future Workplace, burnout plays a key role in 20 to 50 percent of annual workforce turnover.
"As our workplaces evolve, as leaders, our primary focus needs to be on creating a work environment that engages employees and creates passion for them to do extraordinary work," says Peter Stark, president of Peter Barron Stark Companies based in San Diego. His company offers executive coaching, surveys and key- note speeches to organizations in hospitality, sports, government, technology and healthcare sectors.
"I don't know what the opposite of an engaged, passionate employee is, but burned out, disconnected and disengaged has to be close," Stark said.
Here are four ways that employers can create a workplace that's burnout-free:
1. Provide meaningful work. Employees want to know they're doing work that makes a difference.
2. Make opportunities for learning. By 2020, Millennials will comprise 50 percent of the workplace and by 2025, they will make up 75 percent of the workforce. These highly engaged employees don't want busy work — they want to continue to grow their skills on the job.
3. Create opportunities for connection. Though employees may have individual tasks to perform, the workplace shouldn't be a place of isolation. Employers should encourage communication and collaboration, especially as working remotely grows in popularity.
4. Give feedback. The review process is just as uncomfortable for most managers as it is for employees. Despite this, honest, constructive feedback is essential for letting employees what they are doing well, as well as providing them with opportunities for improvement.
"It has been our experience that the managers who hate the performance review process are the same people who are not good at giving ongoing feedback," Stark says. "Great feedback helps people stay connected and builds trust."