95% of HR leaders say this is the main reason staff leave

03 Jul, 2017

Productivity is an often-used measure to gauge whether staff are engaged in their work; however, this outdated ‘churn and burn’ attitude to employment is causing employee’s to burnout, and head out of the exit door.

According to a survey by Kronos, 95% of HR managers, administrators and executives, cite burnout as a reason employees aren’t staying with their organisation. Nearly half (46%) say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of their annual workforce turnover.

614 HR leaders, including from firms with 100 to 2,500+ employees, were surveyed and they admit that the factors contributing to burnout should be under their control.

For example, poor management (30%), employees seeing no clear connection of their role to corporate strategy (29%), and a negative workplace culture (26%) – all within the remit of HR – are causing talent to leave for greener pastures.

Unfair compensation (41%), unreasonable workloads (32%), and too much overtime (32%) were named as the top three contributors to burnout.

87% of HR leaders have said that improved retention is a critical or high priority over the next five years, yet one-fifth (20%) said there are too many competing factors to focus on fixing the issue in 2017. One of the factors hindering better retention included outdated HR technology and a lack of support from the C-Suite. 16% cited budget as the primary obstacle to improving employee retention in the next 12 months.

Though burnout affects organisations of all sizes, larger organisations seemed to suffer more. One in five HR leaders at organisations with 100 to 500 employees cited burnout as the cause of 10% or less of their turnover while 15% of HR leaders at organisations larger than 2,500 employees, say burnout causes 50% or more of annual turnover.

Charlie DeWitt, Vice President, Business Development at Kronos, comments: “Employee burnout has reached epidemic proportions. While many organisations take steps to manage employee fatigue, there are far fewer efforts to proactively manage burnout. Not only can employee burnout sap productivity and fuel absenteeism, but as this survey shows, it will undermine engagement and cause an organisation’s top performers to leave the business altogether.”

Whilst burnout is often seen as an issue related to the employee or talent management, recent research cited in the book, Time, Talent and Energy, co-authored by Michael C. Mankins, and Eric Garton says that the organisation is to blame – not the individual.

They found that when employees aren’t as productive as they could be, it’s often a cultural issue that’s at fault. Writing in Harvard Business Review, Garton said: “When we looked inside companies with high burnout rates, we saw three common culprits: excessive collaboration, weak time management disciplines, and a tendency to overload the most capable with too much work.”

Source: HR Grapevine