Businesses around the world are experiencing poor levels of employee engagement due to burnout caused by an increasingly overwhelming work environment a study by Deloitte University reports.
The Global Human Capital Trends report which is carried out annually and involves over 2,500 business leaders in more than 90 countries, finds that over a third of those leaders think their employees are suffering burnout because they are constantly connected.
Although this was understood to be a serious problem, few leaders feel that they are tackling it successfully. Frequent interruptions from phones and social media applications, including company intranets, means employees struggle to focus on the tasks they are meant to be completing, raising their stress levels. The feeling of being unable to keep up can lead to a feeling of being constantly under pressure from above, even if managers don’t intend it that way.
When technologies like mobile phones first presented the option of having employees constantly connected, many companies leapt at the chance, with senior staff often taking the lead. There was an expectation that improved connections would mean improved productivity, and that proved true to an extent, but we have now reached a point where actually stepping back and simplifying the work environment is what many businesses need.
This needs to be based on close consultation with employees so that they don’t feel they’re being deprived of something. It needs to strike a careful balance, ensuring that they still have access to the tools they need (such as an easy way to contact another department to check on the progress of a project) without being constantly required to multitask.
There are simple ways to do much of this. An intranet, for instance, can be made available only at certain times of day, so communication tasks are undertaken all at once and at other times employees can focus on other work. Getting the balance right will make for happier employees and a more relaxed yet more productive working environment.
Deborah Hulme, Director, Minerva Engagement
Minerva Engagement transforms individual and organisational performance. For more information about how to improve wellbeing and manage stress in the workplace ask about our Evolve for Change programme designed to equip leaders and future leaders with the skills required to thrive in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. View more blogs from Minerva Engagement or follow us on Twitter @MinervaEngage.