Employee Burnout

Everyone agrees that employee turnover is disruptive and expensive. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates the total cost of turnover can be as high as 200 percent of annual salary.

Then consider that half of employee turnover is due to burnout. It’s a problem worth solving.

Many factors contribute to employee burnout. Among the most obvious are heavy workloads, short deadlines, and the ever-present mobile phone, which makes employees available around the clock.

But HR leaders say that burnout is also fueled when employees don’t see a connection between their role and their organization’s purpose.

Another top cause is a negative corporate culture, which I will address in the next post.

If these are conditions that describe your organization, more focus is needed on the fundamentals of community, engagement, and living the organization’s purpose. Providing employees with the foundation I introduced in the first post — belongingness, self-esteem, and self-actualization — is the best defense against burnout.


Promotions may be the most misunderstood aspect of management.

While promotions create motivation and engagement, and demonstrate recognition of individuals, they are not just a reward for good performance. A promotion is the process of adding more responsibility to an employee’s role in the organization.

Following this logic, the best candidate for promotion is not necessarily your team’s top performer. While the criteria for promotion will differ for every job, there are some common trails to look for.

Perhaps the most important is skilled communication. While good communication is desirable in every position, it is a prized asset in a manager. The ability to handle conflict, give feedback, and manage difficult people makes a strong manager in any situation.

Not to be overlooked is a person’s ability to handle failure. While some employees look for excuses and scapegoats, other will accept responsibility and use the setback as a platform for learning and growth.

Finally, remember that promotions groom your organization’s future leadership. Choosing candidates who understand – and demonstrate – your mission and values ensure the seamless continuation of your organization’s culture.

In summary, promotions are an incubator for leadership. While competency is important, always consider the skills and talents your candidate will need in the future, as part of your leadership class.

Value of Training & Development

Training may be the most obvious, but most overlooked strategy for greater productivity.


Training can be expensive, in terms of both time and money. Every hour employees are training they are not directly, immediately productive. Projects can be delayed. But if you think of training as an investment, rather than an expense, you can reap substantial rewards.

A properly trained employee gets work done faster, is more productive, and makes fewer errors. But training also inspires employee confidence. Well-trained, confident employees are more likely to suggest process improvements and work beyond their job description.

Training also creates a company-wide baseline of knowledge. Team members can help new employees get up to speed faster, and can easily fill-in at other jobs when needed.

In addition to training people for specific jobs, consider classes in general industry knowledge. Your employees want your business to succeed. Their livelihood depends on it! Helping them understand how their job fits into the bigger picture of the company and industry will connect them to your mission and goals.

Work Engagement

If you gave each of your employees a check for 5 million dollars, how many would show up for work the next day?

Your answer is a window into the basic health and culture of your business.

Sure, it seems absurd that anyone would continue to work without the need for a paycheck… but money alone is not why people go to their jobs every day.

A survey conducted by Make Their Day, an employee motivation firm, and Badgeville, a gamification company, shows the most desired rewards from work are recognition and meaning. Compensation ranked sixth.

This is not surprising. People do not suspend their lives when they are working. They do not become fundamentally different when sitting behind a desk or standing at a machine.

In a modern society, where people’s needs for basic shelter and safety are met, they desire belongingness, self-esteem, and self-actualization. There’s no reason why work should be excluded from those desires, yet in most organizations, these needs are either disregarded or not taken seriously.

But there’s good reason to do so: Employees who sense belongingness, self-esteem, and self-actualization on the job experience a condition called “engagement.” Engagement has a profound affect on job satisfaction and creates an even more profound increase in productivity.

Only 30% of people are engaged at work and more often than not, you’ll find them at top-ranked, highly effective organizations. In this series of posts, I will explain more about the steps required to create engagement and in turn, turbo-charge your organization’s success.

Job Hunting Strategies

I’ve been delivering speeches and presentations about job hunting strategies and career planning for years now. My audiences were a wonderful mix throughout this journey; ranging from grade school students all the way to junior position staff.

The most common thing about all of them was: they didn’t have a career plan and didn’t know how to find jobs that matched their skills, and didn’t know how to approach employers.

Bahrain is a small country, and we joke about how everyone knows each other. This prompts a challenge to job seekers because networks play a major role in filling those vacant positions. Some call it networking, others call it pulling strings. I say if you have the right skills, attitude, and strategy, you’ll be able to get that job interview and impress the potential employer.

I’ve recently compiled my experience in this field in a short eBook: Get the Job You Want. In it, I’ve included how job seekers can plan a straightforward strategy to job hunting. Here is a link:

Get Your Copy

So what job hunting strategies do you follow, and what stories do you have about interviews and job application success?