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2 in 5 Employees Say A Raise Is The Answer To Preventing Burnout

  • There are many reasons why workplace burnout is on the rise, and the recent pandemic has certainly exacerbated the issue.  
  • With high levels of worker burnout caused by discontent in the workplace, employers might be curious to see whether or not salary has an effect on burnout rates.  
  • In a Q&A with Jennifer Strauel, Chief People & Diversity Officer at arrivia, she explained her view on the correlation between employee pay and burnout.  

When humans are under unrelenting pressure, everyday stresses can morph into a debilitating state called burnout, and avoiding burnout is vital to stay on top of your mental and physical health.   

Often, our work is the core reason behind burnout. A study found that 23% of workers experience burnout very often or always, and an additional 44% feel burnt out sometimes.   

In other words, nearly two-thirds of employees are feeling burnt out on the job.    

There are many reasons why workplace burnout is on the rise, and the recent pandemic has certainly exacerbated the issue.  

According to a Morning Consult survey of 1,300 people who quit their jobs in the last year, 63% stated that money was their main concern.  

It’s clear that levels of burnout are growing incrementally as understaffing continues to plague the labor market.  

With high levels of worker burnout caused by discontent in the workplace, employers might be curious to see whether or not salary has an effect on burnout rates.  

CouponFollow polled over 1,000 people to see just how much a pay raise or pay cut would affect the workplace contentment of an employee. 

Key Study Highlights:  

  • An annual raise of $1,000 (50 cents an hour) would notably improve the life of 1 in 3 low-income Americans. 
  • If given a raise, 39% of people would spend their raise on financial betterment such as emergency and retirement savings. 
  • Individuals are nearly 2x as likely to put a raise towards an emergency fund than towards a vacation.  
  • Two in 5 Americans said a raise would improve their mental health, and one-quarter said it would improve their physical health. 

According to the survey, the average American would notice an improvement in the quality of their life with an extra $5,780 each year, or roughly $482 extra per month 

On average, respondents would spend the majority of their raise (42%) on essentials. Within this category, 53% of respondents would allocate funds to groceries and food; 35% would spend on household items and supplies; and 32% would spend on monthly loan payments. 

A raise of just 3% a year correlated with anticipated improvements in mental and physical health, family relationships, and overall lifestyle. An annual raise of $1,000 would reportedly improve the life of more than 20% of Americans.  

In a Q&A with Jennifer Strauel, Chief People & Diversity Officer at arrivia, she explained her view on the connection between employee pay and burnout.  

Allwork.Space: Do you agree that a raise is the answer to preventing employee burnout? 

Jennifer Strauel: No. Burnout is not created by the amount of money an employee receives (or doesn’t receive) in their paycheck.   

Burnout comes from the psychological aspects of work, overwhelming stress, and a prolonged lack of bandwidth to successfully handle both job requirements and life demands. When we ask employees what leads them to feeling burnt-out, we hear things like: 

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  • Lack of recognition for their hard work and extra effort 
  • Pressure of deadlines and a workload higher than sustainable for one person 
  • Feeling emotionally and physically tired from “burning the candle at both ends” for too long 
  • Lack of support from their leader and/or team 

These stressors and concerns are not alleviated when someone receives a raise. Typically, compensation adjustments provide about a 90-day lift to morale and job performance; after that time, the effect wears off and burnout creeps back in since the root causes have not been rectified.  

The best remedy for employee burnout is cultivating a healthy workplace culture, demonstrating care for employee well-being, acknowledging employee contributions, and making sure that everyone takes time off to recharge by offering employer-sponsored travel benefits. 

Allwork.Space: What can companies/HR execs/managers do to hinder burnout within their employees? 

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Jennifer Strauel: At arrivia, we do many things to help prevent burnout in our workforce; some items are structural and others are interpersonal. At a foundational level, we have policies, facilities, and benefits in place to create a safe and supportive work environment.  

We design our buildings with our employee’s well-being in mind, using bright colors and travel imagery, having ergonomic furniture, wellness rooms and/or gyms, inviting outdoor spaces, and providing amenities like gourmet coffee at no charge.  

Structurally, we also have policies and practices that provide emotional support for our team, including an open-door policy, unlimited PTO, employer-sponsored travel benefits, paid family leave, volunteer time-off, monthly mental health webinars, an extensive global employee assistance program, and rewards and recognition programs.  

We also help build the interpersonal skills of our leaders, training them on how to be supportive with their teams, how to recognize signs of burnout or mental health issues, and how to provide purpose, vision, and opportunities for growth.  

As HR professionals, my team conducts focus groups and one-on-one check-in chats with employees to keep a pulse on employee sentiments and stress levels, provide resources to employees, and develop creative solutions with leaders to address any issues identified.    

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Originally posted at Work 2.0