Look around your office. Could you identify which people are most content with their jobs and which are considering leaving? The common perception would be that the person who seems to be plodding along and even a little bored would be the most likely candidate to resign. However, a recent study by academics in the UK, US and Germany shows that the opposite may be true.
The study, published in the Career Development International journal, concludes that it is the employees who are the most motivated and productive that could be the most likely to leave the company rather than those that appear disengaged. It may be surprising to learn that it could be your most engaged performers that you are most likely to lose. The reason behind this conclusion is that levels of high engagement can result in stress and burnout which in turn lead to a ‘pathway leading into disengagement’, according to an article published by the University of Cambridge.
It should be noted that the survey recognised that there is a distinction between healthy levels of engagement and those that can result in exhaustion and burnout. Participants responded to a number of questions focused on areas that included engagement, resources, demands and burnout.
“These findings are a big challenge to organisations and their management,” said Dr Jochen Menges, Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Cambridge Judge Business School. “By shedding light on some of the factors in both engagement and burnout, the study can help organisations identify workers who are motivated but also at risk of burning out and leaving.”
The dangers of exhaustion and fatigue amongst employees are concerning and prevalent in the workplace. It is eye-opening to discover that it could be the most unlikely candidates that could end up burnt out and leaving a company as they’re at the end of their tether.
Gauge The Feelings Amongst Your Staff – Understand The Culture & Climate Of Your Teams
Could you recognise the most ‘at risk’ members of your team? If you want to improve staff retention and identify if you have a culture and team climate that raises the risk of people leaving the organisation, we at PCS can help. Our diagnostic tools reveal the climate (or culture) amongst teams and will highlight and clarify underlying issues. Our system goes beyond a mere measurement of engagement; the insights gained from PCS reports can enable you to transform your teams and boost performance significantly. You can identify a tangible ROI such as staff retention and improved output.
So rather than making assumptions about people’s feelings and intentions, get the data to inform your decisions. You may be surprised by the results.
Ref: Julia Moeller et al. ‘Highly engaged but burned out: intra-individual profiles in the US workforce.’ Career Development International (2018).