Dealing with Disengaged and Burned Out Workers

How do American workers feel about their jobs these days?

They’re burned out, stressed out and unhappy at work.

According to ComPsych’s new national survey of 1,880 workers, even getting to work is a challenge.  In fact, merely showing up for work was the top priority cited by 22 percent of workers, a 47 increase since the survey began in 2003.  Not an encouraging statistic for managers seeking to improve employee performance!

And that’s only part of the story.  Here are a few more of the study’s key findings:

  • 63 percent of workers say they have high levels of stress at work, and feel extremely fatigued and out of control.
  • 39 percent cite their workload as their top cause of stress.
  • 53 percent take regular “stress breaks” by talking with others to cope at work, while 36 percent say they just work harder

Is this what you want for your employees?  Probably not.  But if your company has had to deal with restructuring or workforce reductions, your workers may be feeling the effects of your “do more with less” culture.

If your employees are showing signs of burnout or seem disengaged, you need to take the bull by the horns.  Here are a few tips from PrideStaff to turn things around:

Re-examine work roles.  Could doing work differently make things easier for your staff?  Analyze tasks within work teams and see if you can re-assign some of them according to members’ competence and enjoyment levels.  Before making any changes, though, ask team members for input on the group’s processes and outcomes, to ensure everyone understands his or her role.

Make work/life balance a priority.  Research has shown that work/life balance is a key component in overall job satisfaction.  But, if your company is forced to run leaner, employees may be feeling the pressure to work longer and harder.  Help them make balance a priority by:

  • Offering flex time, telecommuting options or job sharing.
  • Providing realistic deadlines for completing work.
  • Enhancing wellness program offerings.
  • Setting the example yourself (like it or not, your employees will follow your lead!).

Reward your staff.  Develop a formal, fair and consistent process to give all employees (regardless of rank or tenure) opportunities for individual recognition.  Align rewards with your company’s mission and vision to make them more meaningful and to strongly reinforce desired behaviors.

Use temporary staff.  Give overworked employees the extra support then need by bringing in contingent employees.  In addition to helping you meet critical deadlines and stay focused on top priorities, PrideStaff’s workforce solutions can also alleviate the burnout overtime causes.

Is it time to hire again? 

Burnout and disengagement can also be signs that you are fundamentally understaffed.  If you need to cost-effectively hire top talent, PrideStaff is here to help.  Contact your local PrideStaff office today to learn more about our direct placement services.