One of my clients, let’s call him Rhett, owns a micro business in one of the most stressful industries there is.

I know, I know. Everyone is stressed (which is kind of the point of this blog).

But Rhett is a Vet – and guess which profession has one of  the highest rate of suicides, at four times the average adult population?

Yep, you guessed it. Veterinary practitioners.

Here’s the rub though: what was already a very stressful job/ business, was dialled up to 11 over the last two years.

There are many reasons for this (and let’s be 100% clear, I’m not professing to be an expert in the area). But one of the more obvious reasons has to be that huge spike in ‘Pandemic Pets’, which meant Vet clinics and hospitals had exponentially more clients than pre-Covid.

And let’s be honest, most of us – particularly towards the end of lockdown #6 here in Melbourne – were fraying a little at the seams. It’s not much of a stretch to think that our pets picked up on that.

Don’t get me started on the spontaneous anxious whizzes our 9 year old Border Collie suddenly started dropping in the lounge room / kitchen/ dining room etc…

All of this translates to an already stressful job becoming so tough that burnout is a real issue of concern across the industry.

Of course vets aren’t alone in this – and employee burnout isn’t just a by-product of the pandemic.

The World Health Organisation recognised this was enough of an issue to define burnout in 2019 (ie pre-pandemic) like this:

Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job

Reduced professional efficacy

The reality though, is that the pandemic increased burnout on what Co-founder and CEO of Culture Amp (employee engagement platform), Didier Elgzingar describes as “a mass scale”.

As Elzinga noted in a Smart Co interview:

 Importantly, that’s true of businesses that are doing well, as well as those that are struggling.

And then in a nice segue into my next point, Elzinga went onto say…

The data shows staff turnover rates are double what they were pre-pandemic. Suddenly, keeping team members on board is a priority for businesses of all sizes and at all levels.

Yep, that’s a reference to the Great Resignation. Another high contributor to employee burnout. Because what happens when people leave their job? Until such a time as a replacement is found and successfully on-boarded, already stressed existing team members will have to step up to the plate to fill in the gaps. 

Which leads to more stress, and further movement along the path to burnout.

Now that you understand more about  employee burnout, logically I’m guessing that you want to know what you can do to address employee burnout. Do I hear a ‘Hell Yeah I do – and how about via one of your infamous infographics, Ali?’

Your wish is my command. Viola, my latest infographic for your visual learning pleasure.

Tips courtesy of Culture Amp; HBR and Workology Co.

In all honesty, we’ve barely scratched the surface of this pervasive issue, and there is so much more I could share with you.

For now however, I’m just going to leave this here: 

Employee burnout is an issue that you need to pay attention to, or ignore at your organisation’s (considerable) detriment.

If you want some help addressing the root causes, then book in a time and let’s chat.