According to a recent survey by Future Workplace and Kronos, roughly 50% of HR leaders report that half of the employees who leave their companies do so because they're burned out.
The study also looked into the causes of employee burnout, and found the top reasons are:
1. You're not transparent about compensation
When employees don't feel their pay measures up to the work they're putting into a job, they're likely to feel stressed—in fact, the survey found that compensation was one of the top contributors to burnout.
Women who serve as chief financial officers at colleges, for instance, only earn 77% of what their male counterparts do, according to a recent report by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).
2. You're not giving them enough autonomy
"Having the ability to make at least some decisions about how you spend your time also serves as a hedge against burnout," says Joyce Maroney, the director of the Workforce Institute at Kronos.
Employees are more likely to be engaged in their work if they feel they can make their own decisions, Maroney adds.
Though the amount of work it takes to push an employee to the point of burnout differs case-by-case, Michael Mankins, the leader of organization practice at Bain & Company, says, "It's very dependent on how much autonomy and impact that individual feels they have in their job... if you have no autonomy and you're having no impact, you'll probably burn out at 40 hours a week."
3. You're not hiring employees for the right reasons
Though it can be tempting to hire the candidates that you like for open roles, it is far more important to hire based on job fit.
Carefully vetting applicants' strengths and preferences before bringing them onboard will ultimately help employee satisfaction, says Tami Halton Pardee, CEO of Halton Pardee + Partners. "You want to play to people's strengths so that they feel good about what they're doing every day," she says.
Hiring and onboarding employees is not a "one size fits all" process
4. You're giving your employees too much busywork
According to Manskins, "Managers also need to be aware of how much they're expecting of employees."
When managers reduce the organizational drag—which Manskins says includes email overload and excess meetings—they can help prevent employee burnout.
Some managers track the amount of busywork they're sending to their employees so that they can adjust their behavior.
Management is key to retaining talented employees
5. You're setting a bad work-life balance example
Even if your company prioritizes work-life balance, employees will usually follow in their direct managers' footsteps when it comes to working after hours or while on vacation.
Maroney says employers need to establish boundaries about working hours right off the bat. "If a manager is sending emails on a regular basis after hours, employees will feel pressured to do so, too," says Maroney. "Conversely, if a manager treats a day off truly as a day off by unplugging and trusting their coworkers to step up in their absence, their employee will be much more likely to do so, too" (Moran, Fast Company, 2/22).
Help your students land jobs that won't burn them out
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How to get your faculty members on board with strategic initiatives