If companies are to stop smoking, they need to take burnout seriously

In 2023, between a quarter and a third of Canadians feel exhausted. Burnout has not decreased since last year. A full 36% of employees are more exhausted than last year.

If you’re not exhausted, it could be because you quit smoking to keep work at bay. Most workplaces have not changed their workload or the way work is done, although there are a growing number of exceptions.

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My research focuses on organizational governance. I study organizations and employee experiences in their workplaces. Last summer I wrote about how employee burnout remained high in Canada and discussed how to address it. I have warned that workplaces often hold employees accountable for managing burnout.

However, addressing the root causes of burnout requires workplaces to examine the workload and the expectations they place on employees. How can workplaces change their approach to burnout? Are they now more concerned with dealing with the root causes of burnout?

Burnout and silent abandonment

According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Safety and Health, burnout includes a variety of symptoms, from emotional exhaustion to detachment and cynicism, to a sense of low personal accomplishment and depersonalization, a feeling that work doesn’t belong to you. themselves.

A stressed man in front of a laptop puts his fingers on his forehead
To address burnout, companies should look at how much work their employees have and how they are expected to do it.

The fact that burnout has not decreased suggests that organizations have not addressed its root causes. Instead, employees took matters into their own hands and quietly quit.

Quietly quitting refers to doing what our job requires and nothing more. Gone are the days of overwork and constant availability. According to a 2023 Gallup report, most employees around the world quit quietly. Because employees who quit quietly can set better boundaries around their work, quiet quitting allows them to prevent burnout.

Read more: Quietly quitting is a new name for an old method of industrial action

The fact that many employees have resorted to quiet resignations suggests that workplaces are not addressing or taking burnout seriously enough.

As a result, work remains the biggest source of stress for Canadians. We have too much work, we work in too toxic organizational cultures, and we don’t feel supported enough.

It’s no surprise then that a recent survey found that a third of Canadians quit their jobs due to burnout. One in four companies in Canada have had problems with employee retention.

How workplaces can tackle burnout

Employers need to review the workload they impose on their employees. They should consider how realistic it is for employees to complete their work within the required time frame.

They also have to face their culture and question how it can be toxic, particularly with regards to how work is done and how toxicity can be addressed.

A woman working on a laptop with a baby next to her in a high chair
By meeting the needs of their employees, companies can improve retention and reduce burnout.

Ultimately, organizational leaders need to listen to their employees and set a tone that is supportive, shows empathy, and isn’t just rhetoric. Words must be followed by actions to ensure that the work environment meets the needs of employees.

Paying your employees more is not enough. Having a good work-life balance is often more important than higher salaries.

There are signs that some workplaces are serious about addressing the root causes of burnout. They are concerned with reducing the workload. For example, they may offer extended or even unlimited paid leave. They can provide more days off for employees to recharge.

A growing number of companies are also embracing four-day workweeks as a way to boost employee morale. Other workplaces offer their employees the flexibility to work on-site and remotely.

Flexibility is essential for employees who also work in shoulder care. Care work in many families is still done by women more than men. Women with small children take time away from their paid work for family responsibilities and miss more than twice as many days off work as men, leaving many mothers drained.

More than a third of working mothers in Canada say it is difficult for them to arrange childcare. Mothers are about 20 percent more likely than fathers to consider quitting their jobs because they struggle to find childcare.

Employees need accommodating and flexible workplaces that understand their needs. Workplaces need to be aware of this flexibility and should not view employees who seek it as less reliable than those who can work longer hours in offices.

#companies #stop #smoking #burnout
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