- Businesses who look after their employees’ health and wellness become known as an employer of choice and as a desirable place to work
- A burnt-out employee might go on extended sick leave or resign, both of which impact the business, clients and all team members
- There is always a reason for “burnout” and there is more than likely a stage where it could have been prevented
Right now, workplace health and wellness is a hot topic for many businesses and for good reason.
For any business who chooses to ignore and not prioritize their employees’ health and wellness will see their productivity, business performance, employee engagement and absence figures impacted.
Significantly, they also run the risk of not being regarded as an employer of choice, leading to recruitment and retention issues.
On the other hand, businesses who see the benefits for all of looking after their employees’ health and wellness, who recognize that their employees are their most valuable asset and put their needs first, become known as an employer of choice and as a desirable place to work, making it simple and inexpensive to quickly attract and retain the very best talent.
Thankfully, employers are evolving, and the subject of workplace health and wellness is moving up the corporate agenda in many organizations and it needs to, as the consequences are becoming more wide reaching.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has now recognized “burn-out” as a medical diagnosis for the first time in the agency’s handbook of medical diagnoses, which guides health professionals around the world.
The WHO clarifies that burnout isn’t a synonym for stress and is actually the result of long-term chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed by the sufferer or their employer.
Burnout can be diagnosed if someone is having feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from, or feelings of, negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; or reduced professional efficiency.
However, the potential damage doesn’t stop with the employee who is suffering from “burnout” as employee burnout has a domino effect.
At the very least employees who are burnt out will be much less productive and will affect people around them with their behaviour.
At the worst end, a burnt-out employee might go on extended sick leave or resign, both of which impact the business, clients and all team members and gives the business a reputation as an employer with a high employee turnover.
Stress and mental health is one of the leading causes for workplace absence according to figures from The American Institute of Stress. An estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress and over half of the 550 million working days lost annually in the USA from absenteeism are stress related and one in five of all last-minute no-shows are due to job stress.
The key point to remember is that there is always a reason for “burnout” and there is more than likely a stage where it could have been prevented.
It is essential that all employers watch all their employees for signs of “burnout” – after all, prevention is always far better than cure.