Employee Burnout is a Problem with the Company, Not the Person

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In the opening lines of the Harvard Business Review article with this same title, I read the following eye-opening remark which really rang true for my work experience across dozens of organizations both small and large.

When we looked inside companies with high burnout rates, we saw three common culprits: excessive collaboration, weak time management disciplines and a tendency to overload the most capable with too much work.

With a little focus, every organization or leader can move a step closer to reducing the hard-to-measure but ridiculously high cost of employee dissatisfaction and churn.

The pains of excessive collaboration frequently manifest as distractions, lack of focus and an inability to make quick decisions. One solution is to hire people you can trust and support them without slowing them down. Yes, collaboration is needed, but we generally rely on it too much in the interest of ‘making sure’ we make the right decision.

Tackle basic time management principles with employees. Assuming we’ve hired well, we could also assume that employees will learn to effectively manage their own time, but we can make it easier for them and have the organization work together to support each other based on collective principles.
Too frequently we find an employee we like and we just pile work on them until performance suffers and then we wonder what happened.

Real leadership is a balance between trusting employees to do their job, but also staying engaged, discovering roadblocks to success and giving them the tools to be effective. We can then confidently continue to add responsibilities to their plates and have confidence they’ll succeed.


Dave Chase is Managing Partner at Advanced CFO.  At Advanced CFO, we provide fractional accounting and financial services. We have served more than 800 clients. They see us as their strategic, outsourced CFO.  We provide CEOs with critical information so they can make key decisions with confidence.  We do this by leveraging our experience and technology to provide actionable information and results.  For more information, click here.

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