Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to Reignite Burned Out Employees

There are two ways an employee can quit a job. The first is physically, which is easily solved by hiring a replacement. The second way, which is harder to solve, is mentally. Unlike physically quitting, you can’t simply replace the employee. And unless employers act quickly to identify and manage employees that have “checked out”, it could cost the organization. Below are 5 signs your employees have mentally quit their job.

1. Evidence of a “whatever” attitude.

2. Minimal contribution that produces a mediocre level of performance. The employee puts in just enough effort to get the job done.

3. Absenteeism. The employee uses up all their vacation, sick days or paid time off on a regular basis.

4. Loss of enthusiasm. The employee once was a motivated contributor, but now contributes little to nothing.

5. Little of no interest in the future. Whatever your discussion, the employee is only interested in the here and now.

One of the first things employers can do to save a burnt out workforce is to give employees back control with flex time options such as reduced or nontraditional hours or telecommuting. Another thing employers can do is listen to employees. They are the best ones to let you know what would help them become reengaged in their work. And be sure to follow through with any suggestions they give you.

The Gallup Organization recently reported that at the end of 2009, more than 25 million people were actively disengaged with their jobs, costing U.S. employers $416 billion in lost productivity. If you notice signs an employee is starting to burn out, talk to them about what would help reignite their flame, or they could start costing your company.

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