Careerbuilder.com recently reported that 78% of employees
are feeling burned-out at work. According to
Careerbuilder the reason for this burnout is smaller
staffs and increased workloads.
HR CONTRARIAN POINTER: From my experience with small to
mid-sized businesses, 99% of so-called burnout is not
burnout but burned-up. What I mean is that management is
paying so little attention to distribution of work and so
little time recognizing employees that the better
employees are feeling unappreciated and are expressing
their anger as burnout.
I’ll give you a prime example that I encounter frequently.
An employee in a small call center was angrily making a
case for being “burned-out” and almost demanding that
management setup an incentive program to reward high
producers. As I analyzed the situation, the employee was
truly producing 50% more than the other 4 people in the
The other 4 employees in the center were friends and spent
most of the day talking to each other. Whenever the phone
would ring, they would let it ring until employee #1 would
pickup because they all knew how conscientious this person
was. Because management wasn’t paying attention, it was
in danger of losing a valuable employee to “burn-up”
because this employee was burned-up with doing the work
and not getting recognized.
After we did some load-balancing and provided the
supervisor with some strategies for monitoring behavior
and productivity, the issue resolved itself.
Don’t be fooled by someone who uses a popular buzzword
like “burnout” to describe a problem. Spend time drilling
down into the issue.