46 per cent of U.K. workers are finding their work exhausting with 40 per cent feeling emotionally frustrated. These are the findings from O.C. Tanner’s 2023 Global Culture Report which collected and analysed the perspectives of over 36,000 employees, leaders, HR practitioners, and business executives from 20 countries around the world, including 4,653 from the U.K.
The report suggests a number of reasons why workers are suffering both physically and emotionally, with a poor balance between their working lives and personal lives more likely to result in exhaustion and potential burnout. In fact, when an employee doesn’t have the balance right, they are 89 per cent more likely to suffer burnout. An organisational culture that doesn’t prioritise staff recognition will also increase the odds of poor mental health, with employees who feel appreciated for their efforts and results, 80 per cent less likely to suffer burnout.
“Employees feeling exhausted with their day-to-day work is symptomatic of a workplace that needs urgent attention” says Robert Ordever, European Managing Director of workplace culture expert, O.C. Tanner. “Leaders need to take an honest look at their culture to see whether their people have a good work-life balance, are regularly recognised, and feel part of a supportive and purpose-driven community. If these elements are lacking then employee mental health will invariably suffer, and the business will experience high levels of absence and staff turnover.”
If employees are to obtain a healthy balance between their work and personal lives, the report recommends that leaders give their people a say in how they work, as well as what work they do. Organisations must also establish pragmatic practices, and expectations that support balance while ensuring employees have opportunities to take time away from work without feeling any pressure, guilt, or obligation to work during their time off. Ensuring senior leaders communicate and demonstrate the importance of balance is also key, thereby making it a normal, natural part of everyday culture.
The culture must also be one of support and appreciation, in which frequently and authentically recognising employees’ efforts, achievements and career milestones becomes commonplace.
Ordever adds, “For employees to feel energised and fulfilled by their work, they must know that their efforts and results are appreciated by both leaders and peers. This means nurturing a culture of integrated recognition in which acts of appreciation are given, witnessed and received every single day.”