Employee Capacity or Burnout Meaurement

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Employee Capacity or Burnout Meaurement

Molson Coors and Caterpillar Inc. are two case studies showing the cost of employee burnout and/or engagement for a company.

Causes of Employee Burnout

  • Six leading causes of employee burnout have been identified, including job scope creep, lack of engagement, long hours and high stress, limited advancement opportunities, poor management, and lack of proper communication channels.
  • Employee engagement has been attributed by 71% of managers to be a critical factor to company success. However, only 33% of employees reported being engaged at work.
  • Employee engagement is also a significant cause of worker burnout. Several factors are responsible for low engagement in a company, including lack of recognition, inadequate compensation, poor communication, and misalignment with its mission.
  • The cost difference between a high engagement versus a low engagement team runs over $2 million.
  • Long working hours lead to mental health deterioration of white-collar workers. However, many companies enforce longer hours for their employees with the mindset of improving productivity. While employees who are paid hourly might appreciate the opportunity to work overtime, most salary-staffed members cannot say the same.
  • High-stress jobs that include long working hours often leave employees feeling exhausted and disengaged, which reduces productivity.

How to Reduce/Avoid Employee Burnout

  • About 70% of working professionals think that their employers are not doing the most to reduce/prevent employee burnout.
  • While fixing the increasing situation of employee burnout in the workplace is not very easy, especially in light of intensifying work pace and complexity, some strategies exist to reduce employee burnout.
  • Strategies to reduce employee burnout include changing the organizational structure, providing management training for burnout prevention, providing training on better work habits for employees, improving human resources (HR), and improving management performance using assessments.
  • According to a Harvard Business Review article, toxic managers often affect employees negatively by "lowering their morale, reducing their well-being, and increasing their work-family conflict." Employees are also prone to adopting their managers' abusive behavior. As such, "helping managers develop skills that give them a greater sense of control, such as influence, problem-solving, and resiliency, can create a buffer against burnout."
  • Coaching methods that enable one-on-one development for managers and employees through technologies can help managers and employees develop skills and behaviors to reduce burnout. Managers can also, utilizing such interventions, reduce burnout in their teams.
  • BetterHelp's coaching on several organizations, including 28 Fortune 100 companies, has seen an average burnout reduction of 19%.

Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI)

  • The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is widely used in global research studies and is the first scientifically developed method of measuring burnout.
  • The MBI provides insights that reveal new information about burnout and reduction/prevention strategies.
  • When employing the MBI in the workplace, it is important to adapt its use to employees' five work experience profiles, including burnout, overextended, ineffective, disengaged, and engagement, instead of considering only burnout and engagement.
  • Studies using the MBI have shown that only 15% of employees in a company truly fit the burnout profile and engagement profile (30%) after considering these profile data.
  • Over 50% of employees usually show a negative result in terms of burnout. However, they might already be showing symptoms. Having such information can help companies combat employee burnout and improve engagement early.
  • The MBI should not be used as a standalone measure. Companies should combine their findings with other tools to identify the possible causes of the five experiences generated.
  • Including the option for employees to provide comments and suggestions as part of the MBI online surveys to assess burnout can offer valuable insights to companies, "especially if themes emerge across a wide range of responses."

Molson Coors

  • Molson Coors Beverage Co. is a holding company that operates as a brewer, producing beer in five segments, including the "US, Canada, Europe, International, and Corporate."
  • The company realized that engaged employees were "five times less likely than non-engaged employees to be involved in a safety accident and seven times less likely to have a lost-time safety incident."
  • Molson Coors also observed a significant difference in safety costs between engaged ($63) and non-engaged employees ($392). This data showed each non-engaged employee cost Molson Coors $329 in safety costs.
  • The company thus sought to bolster its employee engagement to reduce safety costs and drive sales. The results of this decision were safety cost savings of $1.72 million and increased sales. Engaged teams reported a significantly higher sales volume compared to low-engagement teams.
  • Performance-related cost savings reported by Molson Coors was up to $2.1 million.

Caterpillar Inc.

  • Caterpillar Inc. manufactures equipment, including "diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, diesel-electric locomotives," and equipment for the construction and mining industry. The company operates under five segments, including construction industries, resource industries, energy & transportation, financial products, and all other operating segments.
  • The company reduced employee burnout and improved engagement by deploying employment assistance programs (EAPs) and initiatives as part of a larger health continuum model for employees.
  • Programs and services offered health continuum model include mental health promotion programs, employment assistance programs, mental healthcare benefits - or access to care, disability management, and chronic disease management.
  • Caterpillar's EAP model comprises a blended (hybrid) interaction with 13 counselors housed within the medical divisions of its Caterpillar facilities in the US. Over "90% of counseling and interventions occurred face-to-face with either an onsite master's-level counselor or an offsite master's- or doctoral-level clinician in a private office setting."
  • The EAP model results include a 36.3% reduction in work absenteeism and 22.9% improvement in work presenteeism after three months. Caterpillar also saw annual savings of $8.8 million from costs due to "decreased attrition, absenteeism, and overtime" and profit increases of $2 million.


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