Warning Sign: You Struggle to Get to the Root of the Issue
If burnout is burdening your workforce, you’re hardly alone: One in four employees report burnout symptoms, according to a 2022 global survey by the McKinsey Health Institute, and soaring, stubborn rates prompted the World Health Organization to declare it an “occupational phenomenon.” In an attempt to beat back burnout, companies have ramped up things like wellness perks (think: meditation apps and stress-management courses) and mental health resources, often with limited results.
Part of the problem, said Rogers, is that employers “need to understand both what is happening and why it’s happening.” Is the burnout tied to workloads in under-resourced departments? Or is it driven by rigid schedules and lack of flexibility? Do employees feel supported by their manager? A sense of belonging at the company? Without knowing which factors might be at play, it’s all but impossible to implement interventions that correctly address the root of the issue.
Imagine, for instance, an HR manager sees attrition rates are trending upward in a particular office, with workers often citing burnout during exit interviews. Rather than jump straight into action, the manager turns to an intelligent listening platform that captures and tracks employee sentiment. The manager notices employee sentiment scores are flagging, with a steady uptick in comments mentioning flexible schedules and caregiving responsibilities. Such a targeted insight might spark the HR manager to benchmark the company’s PTO offerings against its peers or to re-examine—and possibly better promote—workplace policies around flexible schedules.
The right technology enables leaders to harness the what and why of their people data, such as combining quantitative HR data (such as the number of sick days taken, vacation-usage rates, compensation levels, and long-term absences) with employee survey data (such as sentiment scores on workload, manager support, and sense of purpose). With that more holistic understanding of their workforce’s well-being, organizations are better positioned to tackle the how—that is, how they can help improve their people’s well-being.
These data-driven strategies, which target the very root of the issue, are far more likely to effect lasting change in employee well-being than a wellness perk presented as a surface-level salve.