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Absenteeism & Turnover

How to manage employee burnout


The Goals of this Seminar

Why are we here today?
To discuss the issue of work exhaustion or burnout. To explore the impact of burnout on employee absenteeism and turnover. To identify possible practical solutions to these problems.

You may want to get out pen and paper and participate actively in this training program.

What exactly is burnout?

Burnout can be defined as work stress that leads to work exhaustion. Sadly, it is the most gifted and committed employees that tend to burn out first. Because of their high standards and tendency towards perfectionism, these employees end up burning the candle at both ends. The result may be complete burnout.

What causes burnout?

The causes of burnout are many:
Extended hours and crammed schedules Increased job insecurity Changes in company policy: e.g., increased performance demands; loss of incentive programs Downsizing and similar workplace interventions Excessive desire for personal achievement Can you identify other causes in your work situation?

Some facts about Absenteeism

Most employees miss work because of personal illness or illness involving a member of the family. Employees also miss work because of stress. The primary factor affecting an employees stress level is his/her perception of the relationship with his/her supervisor or manager. Authoritarian management styles promote the highest rates of employee burnout and absenteeism. Absenteeism is costly to a companys bottom-line.

Authoritarian managers

The characteristics of an authoritarian manager:

Poor listening skills and communication skills Tendency to set unreachable goals Personal inflexibility Tendency to blame others for problems Insist that things must always be done their way Tendency to micro-manage and be task-driven Sometimes yell, scream, and curse at employees

Would you want to work with someone like that?

More factors affecting absenteeism

Work conditions:
The relational climate of a job can affect employees willingness to show up to work. Negative relationships between employees and their supervisors can result in absenteeism. Employees miss work as a form of acting out. But sometimes employees miss work because of unresolved conflict between each other. Interventions to reduce interpersonal work stress can help deter employee absenteeism and burnout.

More factors affecting absenteeism

Lack of incentives:
While many companies punish employees for missing work, few think of rewarding those that show up faithfully. Incentives can boost motivation and reduce burnout. Examples of incentives that work:
Being able to cash it unused sick days Bonuses for perfect attendance Certificates of achievement

More factors affecting absenteeism

No attendance policy:
Many companies do not have an explicit policy requiring employees to honor their commitment to the job. An attendance policy allows a manager to intervene in cases where an employee is frequently absent. An official policy allows managers to identify and refer to the EAP employees that may have other problems e.g., alcoholism, domestic problems, etc.

Some facts about Turnover

Zero percent turnover is neither realistic nor possible. Some turnover is actually desirable new employees being fresh ideas and new energy. Excessive turnover can be very costly to a company. (The costs of turnover to be discussed in next slide.) Turnover is often the result of burnout; some workplaces respond to this by demanding even more from the few remaining employees, i.e., a vicious cycle. It is important to know how to attract and keep the

The high costs of Turnover

The financial costs of hiring and training new employees vary from job to job and company to company but there is always a cost. Whatever the financial cost, excessive turnover often results in a waste of valuable resources. Other costs are less tangible, and include:
Customer service disruption Emotional costs including loss of morale Burnout/absenteeism among remaining employees Loss of experience and lack of continuity of service

Burnout, Absenteeism, & Turnover

All three factors affect each other and are affected by each other. Burnout has been identified as one of the principal causes of both absenteeism and excessive turnover. Lets therefore look at some of the psychological aspects of burnout.

From enthusiastic to burntout

Stages of Career Burnout: 1. Enthusiasm 2. Stagnation 3. Frustration 4. Apathy 5. Intervention/No Intervention 6. Burnout Where do you place yourself in this hierarchy?

Physical signs of Burnout

Fatigue and exhaustion Inability to shake off a cold Feeling run down Headaches GI disturbances Weight fluctuation Sleeplessness Shortness of breath

Psychological signs of Burnout

Working harder and feeling as if you are accomplishing less and less. Coming to work late and leaving early. Resentment of clients, colleagues, management. Boredom, disenchantment, and a lack of enthusiasm. Feeling confused, disoriented, and out of place. Feeling guilty (because of underperformance). Experiencing a sense of futility and pointlessness. Loss of temper; displacement of anger to others.

Combating Absenteeism

Change management style:

Identify authoritarian managers Provide appropriate management training


Change working conditions:

Adopt policies and values that promote employee respect and professionalism Develop and promote an internal conflict resolution procedure Take employee complaints seriously sometimes listening is enough. Work to create a just working climate.

Combating Absenteeism
3. Provide incentives for attendance:
Use an incentive program that is suited to your particular company one size doesnt fit all. Allow employees to have input into the development of an incentive program. Have an attorney review your attendance policy to make sure it does not violate any State or Federal labor laws.

4. Develop an attendance policy:

Some final thoughts

Stress management training is a crucial aspect of reducing employee burnout. Lunch-time de-stressing programs can help. It is important to be able to identify employees who are at risk and encourage them to seek help from the companys EAP provider. Dont lose another valuable employee to burnout. Estimate the cost to your company of absenteeism and you will realize that early intervention is cheaper.