We’ve all heard about ‘The Great Resignation’ in recent months and it’s something we’ve shone a spotlight on too in Retention: what makes people stay is different for everyone and The multiple truths behind ‘The Great Resignation’.

Whether it’s been felt within your organisation or not, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many of us to re-evaluate the role of work in our lives. This has led some to refer instead to the ‘Great Rethink’[1].

The ‘burnt out’ most at risk

A recent HBR article[2] suggests that reconsidering the role of work altogether might well have motivated some to quit their jobs, especially those who were suffering burnout from demanding positions, and those with the added pressures of caring responsibilities.

And it’s this cumulative effect and the role that burnout plays that we’re much more interested in – because it’s a key cause of talent loss.

Indeed, Hogan assessments[3 & 4]have found that one of the main drivers causing people to leave organisations right now is burnout, and that those experiencing burnout are more likely to be those who were once highly engaged – and not, therefore, the people any organisation would want to lose.

A problem among leaders

Leaders were one of the most prominent groups found to have experienced burnout. According to The Global Leadership Forecast 2021 from Development Dimensions International, nearly 60% of leaders feel used up at the end of the workday (a strong indicator of burnout) and 26% expect to leave within the next year[5].

This is a real cause for concern because when leaders burn out, their behaviours change. The knock-on effects almost certainly impact employees – in particular on the behaviours that they feel comfortable adopting[6].

Research shows that when employees are working for leaders who model more sustainable working practices and behaviours, they are more likely to be engaged (by 55% according to the HBR study) and less likely to leave[7].

Losing leaders is an even greater risk for many organisations, particularly as we continue to navigate a new world of business. Continuity is a critical contributor to long-term success…

Helping leaders to help themselves – and increasing retention in the process

So, how can we prevent leaders from becoming burnt out and improve retention among this core group?

There are three key steps that our Burnout Risk Indicator (BRI) solution follows:

  1. Identify who is most at risk of burnout
    Due to differences in personality, some of us may be more at risk of burnout than others. Our BRI tool uses leader personality assessment data to identify where burnout is most likely to occur among leaders across the team.
  2. Help leaders build their own resilience as well as those in their team
    Because it uses Hogan personality data, the BRI shows which aspects of a leader’s personality may be putting them more at risk of burnout. Arming each leader with a burnout risk profile for them as well as their team enables them to know where to build resilience, as well as to help manage their own wellbeing.
  3. Facilitate early help seeking and provide support
    Even leaders need to feel they can ask for help, and get support when they need it. Talking about burnout, assessing it at an individual level and exploring how best to mitigate the risks, removes taboo and gives leaders the keys to help manage their own wellbeing before burnout becomes too much.

To retain your best leaders who might be at risk of burnout, the BRI allows you to assess the risk, and then to make the efforts necessary to reduce the risk of burnout before it occurs – both by the organisation but also by the leader themselves. This might just mean the difference between one of your top talent leaders looking to leave the organisation, or choosing to stay.

Want to know more?

Find out more about our Burnout Risk Indicator or download a PDF factsheet.

Better still, get in touch to talk to one of the team about how ENGAGE’s approach to better workplace health could be of help to your organisation.

[1] https://hbr.org/2022/03/the-great-resignation-or-the-great-rethink
[2] https://hbr.org/2022/03/the-great-resignation-didnt-start-with-the-pandemic
[3] https://www.hoganassessments.com/blog/why-are-people-quitting-their-jobs-big-quit-great-resignation-part-1
[4] https://www.hoganassessments.com/blog/employee-burnout-in-the-workplace-covid-19-pandemic
[5] https://media.ddiworld.com/research/GLF2021-final.pdf
[6] https://superhumain.org/en/how-leaders-drive-their-employee-health-to-burnout
[7] https://hbr.org/2014/07/your-bosss-work-life-balance-matters-as-much-as-your-own