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“Burnover” What is it costing you?

“Burnover", when burnout results in turnover.

We all know The Great Resignation has been building since the start of the pandemic because workers finally had enough time to conduct a "Great Evaluation"-- and most came face to face with their professional burnout.

So much so that the U.S. Labor Department reported in November alone, a record 4.5 million workers—about 3 percent of the workforce — quit their jobs, the highest spike in more than two decades.

But how much is burnover really costing your company?

Let’s define burnout and go through some basic stats before assessing how much of a financial hit your company may be taking. Burnout defined as the feeling of being mentally exhausted or stressed. People may use this when discussing any area of their life, but the World Health Organization (WHO) describes it only as relating to the workplace.

· The #1 reason that 95% of the workforce is thinking of leaving their job- Burnout (

· 52% of the workforce experienced burnout in 2021, according to research conducted by Forbes

· Different generations experience burnout at different rates. One survey found that 84% of millennials experience burnout at their current job, compared to 77% of total respondents. (Deloitte)

· Among all respondents, 80% believe Covid-19 has impacted workplace burnout.

· Burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times as likely to be actively seeking a different job. (Gallup)

· Managers are just as likely, if not more so, than individuals to suffer frequent or constant burnout. (Gallup)

While some employers may blame “lack of passion” their major cause of turnover, 87% of professionals say they have passion for their current job, but 64% say they are frequently stressed, dispelling the myth that passionate employees are immune to stress or burnout. (Deloitte)

Once we admit it's not a lack of loyalty or commitment from your employees, we can use this formula to calculate the rough cost of burnout to an organization:

· Average cost of turnover is ½ – ⅔ of an employee’s salary* (Gallup Workplace)

· Half of turnover is due to burnout (Kronos)

· Average turnover rate is 36.4% (Bureau of Labor and Statistics)

It’s important to keep in mind that there hard-to-measure things that are being impacted by burnout. For example:

· Productivity / Performance / Motivation

· Morale

· Trust in Leadership

· Culture

· Communication

How can employers lower their churn rate?

Try to keep work from interfering in your teams’ personal lives.

Don’t let them work too many hours

· Don’t expect or condone people working extra hours outside of their regular schedules

· 39% of workers check emails outside of regular work hours every day. (Indeed)

Encourage them to use all of their vacation time.

· 55% of Americans don’t use all of their vacation time which equated to $61.4M in forfeited benefits.*

· 23% of US workers don’t use all of their vacation time because they have too much work.

· 60% continue working while on vacation because 25% get contacted by a colleague for work-related reasons, and 20% get contacted by their boss while on vacation. (*Norwich U

Model and support work-life balance

· People feel overwhelmed trying to balance the two, and they won’t feel refreshed coming into the job if they can’t focus enough on their personal life.

HR can also take measures to address burnover, including:

· using a structured onboarding process

· having a benefits package that is competitive

· improving management transparency and communication practices

· providing flexible schedules

· conducting thorough exit interviews to determine why employees are quitting

· providing professional development programs so employees can progress along a defined career path

The best way to combat burnout and turnover is by investing in your team, not just with money but time as well. This means providing the tools they need to succeed and making sure their work schedule isn't too demanding so that they can maintain a healthy balance between life and work.

I’ve written about some ways you can create an environment for success here - if any of these sound like something you want help implementing at your workplace, reach out!


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