For some, it was a spirited sprint toward the end of 2021 with optimistic energy, passionate convictions, and a positive outlook for 2022, and for others, it was a slow, lifeless crawl toward a finish line that they didn’t truly believe existed, armed with nothing but a mountain of unfinished work, COVID concerns, and all the “I’m fine, how are you?” replies that they needed to get through the holiday season. As we enter into the new year and continue to create the future of work, it is increasingly important to shine a light on employees who are experiencing burnout (which happens to be over half of the workforce).
At the highest level, we describe burnout as the prolonged imbalance between expectations and resources. One’s perception of that imbalance will shape how the relationship is then processed and then pursued. In most cases, an employee on the edge of burnout is one who can’t cover all the expectations (real or perceived) placed on them with the resources they have at their disposal over a substantial period of time.
We spent the entire pandemic studying wellness and well-being at work, and we have the data to show that burnout is not as simple as you think. That’s why we’ve written two reports to kick off 2022: The People Leader’s Guide To Burnout and Stop Burning Out Your Best People: The Plight Of The Tired Rockstar. In these reports, we take a deep look at employee burnout to ask questions such as:
- Burnout can’t just be tired employees, so what exactly is it?
- What is the actual relationship between burnout and engagement?
- What are some of the major causes of burnout, and how can organizations help?
Both reports are the culmination of months of research, hundreds of survey respondents, dozens of interviews with burned-out employees, leaders attempting to confront burnout, and vendors offering solutions in the space. It is a study on the many ways burnout manifests itself in the workplace, what it truly costs an organization, and how to help.