Across the country, employers are facing a "burnout crisis," according to Fast Company contributor Stephanie Vozza.
"Twenty-three percent of employees report feeling burned out at work 'often or always,' while another 44 percent reported feeling burned out 'sometimes,'" says Vozza, who cites research by Gallup. "Employees who report burnout are 63 percent more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times as likely to leave their current employer."
Burnout isn't just a drag for employees, therefore. It's also a major threat to employers. To extinguish it before it becomes a problem, Vozza says you should focus first on communication.
"Employees who have a manager who's always willing to listen to their work-related problems are 62 percent less likely to be burned out," Vozza reports. "Managers need to improve their dialogue with employees so there is an opportunity for employees to comfortably raise issues, and for managers to notice behavior that's out of the ordinary … Once managers have established an ongoing dialogue and trusting relationship with an employee, it opens the door for them to more easily ask if everything is okay when they notice that an employee seems to be struggling."
Along with communication, employees need a higher calling.
"Employees are significantly less likely to be burned out when they can connect their work to their company's mission or purpose in a way that makes their job feel important," concludes Vozza, who goes on to quote Gallup's research: "People do not just go to work for a paycheck; they want to find meaning in what they do … Managers must do more than point to the mission statement on the wall -- they must show how their employees' contributions make a difference in the world."