Employee Burnout: A Must-Read Guide for Business Owners

Burnout was characterised as a “general stress syndrome” in the past. Now – as “a syndrome resulting from chronic stress in the workplace that has not been successfully managed.” In 2019, the World Health Organization included “emotional burnout” in the International Classification of Diseases.

According to statistics from a study by the American Gallup Institute, 76% of respondents experience some form of burnout. Employees engaged in the iGaming sphere are not the exception. 

What are the consequences of employee burnout for companies?

According to statistics from the same Gallup Research Institute, such employees:

  • 63% more likely to take sick leave;
  • 1.5 times more likely to discuss approaches to work tasks with the manager;
  • 2.6 times more likely to try to quit;
  • 13% less likely to be confident in their productivity.

Symptoms of burnout:

  • Psycho-emotional exhaustion;
  • Detachment in communication, cynical and negative attitude towards others;
  • Lack of emotional control;
  • A feeling of their own incompetence;
  • Increased fatigue;
  • Loss of interest in their activities, etc.

While the above symptoms are similar to depression, burnout and depression have the opposite psychophysiological nature of triggering this condition.

Main reasons that lead to burnout at work

Employees themselves describe (Gallup) the following top 5 stressors at work:

  1. Unfair treatment at work. When employees feel unfairly treated at work, they are 2.3 times more likely to experience high levels of burnout. Unfair treatment can include everything from bias, favouritism and mistreatment by a co-worker to unfair compensation levels. When employees don’t trust their manager or co-workers, it destroys the psychological connection that gives work meaning.
  2. Excessive workload. Often, employees can take on all tasks at once with great enthusiasm (as a rule, most often these are highly effective and loyal employees), and then simply cannot cope with their implementation. This is where stress arises, against the backdrop of dissatisfaction with one’s own performance.
  3. Lack of clarity in the job responsibilities. Only 60% of workers can say with confidence that they know what is expected from them at work. Employees simply get tired of trying to understand their work priorities, plan activities, and adequately evaluate the results of their work.
  4. Lack of communication and support from the manager. Employees who strongly agree that they feel supported by their manager are approximately 70% less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis. In contrast, a careless or confrontational manager leaves employees feeling ignorant, alone, and defensive.
  5. Unjustified time pressure. Employees who have enough work time to complete their tasks are 70% less likely to experience burnout. Undue deadlines and pressure can create a snowball effect—when employees miss one overly tight deadline, they fall behind on the next.

How to prevent burnout

Preventing burnout is a mutual responsibility of both employee and employer. Let’s start with the employees.

Working in a great company with a good level of management and a pleasant team does not completely protect against burnout. It is important to notice the first symptoms. Here are some tips for employees preventing burnout from Forbes:

  1. Build openness and trust with the immediate supervisor. Set realistic and achievable goals together. Negotiate deadlines in advance and promptly signal that the workload is becoming excessive.
  2. Don’t be afraid to take time off, like a day off or a vacation, to get in order.
  3. Take short breaks while you work. Allow yourself to walk a little, get distracted, and drink coffee during work.
  4. Be sure to devote time to your hobby. It helps to relax and switch from work.
  5. Monitor your sleep quality and nutrition.

How much responsibility can the company take on in this matter?

  1. Allow your office employees to adopt a hybrid work schedule. The ability to sometimes work from home or take paid time off reduces the risk of burnout by 36%.
  2. If employees work remotely, often remind them of the importance of maintaining work and rest schedules. Fully remote workers are more likely to experience burnout due to the full integration of work into daily life. 70% of employees note that constant access to corporate chats and instant messengers from a mobile device makes them more likely to work overtime in the evenings, on weekends, and during vacations.
  3. Review and refine your internal well-being programs. Pay more attention to the topics of employee mental health. It is not at all necessary to hire an internal psychologist for this; it is often enough to provide access to such specialists through voluntary health insurance programs or invite a specialist to the company to conduct training.
  4. Conduct regular employee surveys within the company. These may include the following questions:
  • How do you rate your workload?
  • Are you interested in your work tasks?
  • Do you answer emails and messages in the evenings?
  • Has my line manager given feedback on my performance last week?

An obligatory part of any survey is to share the results with employees, plan actions to solve the identified problems and implement these actions.

EvenBet’s response to employee burnout

At Evenbet Gaming, in order to understand and feel the first signs of employee burnout, we have built a system of 1-1 meetings between HR and the manager, the manager and employees on a regular basis. This monitoring system allows you to promptly recognise and respond to all kinds of changes in employees’ condition.

We introduced this tool not so long ago, but it has already shown its effectiveness.

For 2022, the voluntary turnover rate became 8%, compared to 16% in 2021.

Furthermore, the reasons cited for leaving the company, as per the Exit Interview, such as fatigue, work dissatisfaction, issues with functionality, and a sense of career stagnation, have reduced by 50%. In addition to the 1-1 meeting system, we regularly conduct research on the satisfaction of our employees, both with the company and with all rational and emotional benefits. We are improving the content of our well-being programs depending on external factors and employee requests.

Daria Fot, Head of HR at EvenBet:

I am sure that employee burnout is a huge problem, both for the employee and for the company. We live in a very unstable, disturbing world. The mental health of employees comes to the fore.

What everybody needs to understand in solving this problem is that there is no magic pill.

Every situation is individual. Every employee, every company. Companies need to create an approach that is tailored to each specific case and will yield measurable results.

There is no solution to the problem of burnout once and for all (and is unlikely to appear); this is not a sprint. This is a continuous path of improvement.

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