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Burnouts are a costly problem for companies, but they can be prevented!

Wednesday 05 June 2024

Burnout is a growing problem that’s only getting worse. Two years of pandemic worries and restrictions have also taken their toll. There is an unprecedented number of young people suffering from mental health problems, sometimes resulting in depression and burnout. The Trimbos Institute sounded the alarm last year. A survey issues in February 2021 revealed that almost a quarter of the respondents felt less good about themselves.

The increase in mental health issues is bad news for all concerned, including for companies. In a report, the TNO calculates that burnout costs the business community 2.8 billion euros each year.

Burnout costs more and more

2.8 billion euros, per year. That's startling. Even more shocking is that this amount has only increased since 2017. In a previous measurement in 2015, the counter stopped at "only" 2 billion euros. The number of days of absence is also showing an upward trend. In 2017, stress caused over 10 million days of absence. One year later, it was already at 11 million, an increase of more than 10%.

Although the exact cost of the COVID-19 pandemic is unknown (and difficult to measure), it is clear that the upward trend will not be reversed any time soon.

Burnout doesn't just end

If an employee steps away from their role due to burnout, you have a big problem as an organization. Psyned, the trade organization for psychologists, says that the time needed to recover from burnout varies per person. If the burnout is actively addressed, at best, it takes about a year. However, recovery from burnout can take several years.

Employees who drop out due to burnout are therefore out of work for a long time. During their recovery period, their salary must be paid. The onus is also on the company to find a suitable replacement and, in the meantime, (even if you have a replacement) to deal with a loss of productivity.

Prevention is better than cure. This is always true, but especially so with burnout! If burnout is spotted in time, you can intervene and prevent absenteeism.

Shared blame

As an employer, you are quickly blamed when an employee burns out. This is too short-sighted a perspective. Theo Compernolle, professor of neuropsychiatry, says that burnout is caused by a concurrence of stressors. Nowadays, cell phones are partially to blame. Multitasking, quickly reading a (work) email while having breakfast, or constantly checking the news sites—according to him, the smartphone does not help us to relax.

Burnouts occur because people cannot slow down after a busy day at work. FOMO (fear of missing out) makes people undertake all sorts of social activities despite their fatigue. This is especially true now that it is "allowed" again, and many people feel they have some catching up to do.

On the other hand, companies do bear some blame. Low autonomy at work and inappropriate behavior from external parties (scolding, even threats from customers), and information overload are serious problems that, unfortunately, are not yet being addressed sufficiently. A course on "How to deal with work pressure" is not enough to prevent burnouts, but it is necessary. In addition, it is important to know which employees are at risk of burnout.

How is your employees’ mental health?

If you want to know how your employees are doing, a chat by the coffee machine helps enormously. The problem is that you're busy enough as it is, and it's impossible to go into depth with everyone.

Perhaps the colleague who is always whistling is at the end of his rope. Moreover, people tend to answer the question of how they are doing with: "Fine."

Wouldn’t it be invaluable if you had an instrument that could help you to quickly and efficiently keep a finger on the pulse of all your employees?

Online burnout risk test

The Bridge Burnout Indicator is an online test, developed by scientists, that helps you to identify burnout symptoms early.

The test was specifically developed (and extensively tested and validated) to prevent burnout in employees. This online burnout test not only measures whether your employees are dealing with burnout symptoms, but also evaluates whether they are happy with their work. The greater the happiness of your employees at work, the better they can handle stress and the smaller the chance of developing burnout.

Dimensions of burnout and job happiness

The online burnout test measures scores on four commonly used dimensions: general fatigue, mental distance to work, cognitive fatigue, and emotional fatigue.

Job satisfaction is measured on the following dimensions: involvement in work, proactive vitality, job satisfaction, and involvement in the organization

The test also measures causes of (too) high work pressure and whether there is stress or tension. By employing a new technique, called normative-ipsative split technology, the online burnout indicator is even better at detecting early symptoms than the employee himself. This allows you to intervene more quickly and effectively if the work threatens to overwhelm your employee.

It is not for nothing that The Bridge burnout indicator is the most used burnout test in the Benelux. The best part is that you can order as many as you need, even if you only have one or two staff members!

This is what our satisfied customers say about us

“For Young Group, the results of The Bridge Personality tests do not only provide insights into recruitment. They are also a guideline for the long term, both for the manager and for the development of the employee.”

Anne Huijgen

Young Group