Employee burnout should be of the highest priority for leaders in 2021 as they start to plan their recovery from the upheaval of 2020. Burnout employees can damage productivity and are likely to leave if they perceive that they can better recover in another role.
But according to ActiveOps, a leading provider of digital operations management solutions, there are three areas where workforce data can help organisations tackle burnout. These deal with the current state of play where organisations have burnt-out employees that they need to support and help protect the workforce from burnout in the future.
Richard Jeffery, Group CEO, ActiveOps, stated: “Finding meaningful solutions to employee burnout isn’t just a social responsibility for organisations –though that is incredibly important if organisations want to live up to their values and be an employer of choice for the best talent out there. Beyond that, reducing burnout is vital to an organisation’s top and bottom lines.”
Data enables better workload management
Though the causes of employee burnout are varied, the most significant cause of burnout is overwork – or too much of the wrong kind of work for a specific employee. Organisations must be aware of how much work they are expecting of their employees, what they are getting through, and the work coming down the line. Armed with this data, managers can divert workload away from burnt-out employees while they recover and gradually increase their workload as they regain their wellbeing. By getting a holistic view of the whole team, those managers can see whether they should be diverting that work within the team – perhaps to an underworked team member – or whether they should be looking at additional short-term resources to fill the gap.
Seeing where your employees are spending their time may also help you identify whether they are in the right kind of work.
Data helps managers engage employees more effectively
The company attains employee engagement by understanding and providing what employees want from their work – whether involved in decisions that affect them, measurable and actionable feedback, ongoing development, or a sense of satisfaction and purpose. Disengaged employees are at an increased risk of burnout.
Software that aggregates workforce data can identify employees who are off-task for significant periods or who spend a lot of time using training sections of programmes – both of which may be signs that they are disengaged and struggling. That data can be used as the basis for a productive conversation between employees and managers to help analyse and resolve the issues affecting those employees.
Data brings hybrid work to life
The move to hybrid working styles has presented both opportunities and challenges for employee wellbeing. Many organisations lack a transparent view of the time employees spend working, especially during their non-working hours.
Technology enabling organisations to accurately track when employees log on, showing managers how well they balance work and rest, will help managers proactively intervene to protect their employees from overwork and thus burnout.
“Organisations with a high level of burnout will soon (if they haven’t already) see their retention rates plummet as employees look for other roles where they can recover themselves. Burnout damages the company brand and incurs high costs as the organisation has to hire and train replacements for those employees they lose. Eliminating burnout, therefore, can reduce the cost of churn for organisations.
“Key to the success of any organisation’s efforts to reduce burnout is to revisit how they measure employee productivity. It’s no longer enough to look simply at outcomes or the volume of tasks completed. As work has grown more complex, the methods of measuring success have also increased in complexity – and often, organisations find it very hard to measure performance without technological intervention,” concluded Richard Jeffery.