Keeping Your Employees Engaged Without Burning Out


As the employment landscape shifts away from decades-long careers in favor of short-term employment with frequent staff rotations, it’s difficult to blame the average employee for losing much of the passion for working seen in decades past. When loyalty is no longer rewarded it takes a special push from management to keep the average worker happy and focused on their role.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of employment stands at around 4.6 years in any given position, but the greatest individual factor in predicting longevity is the age of the worker. Older employees trend towards longer stays with one company while younger employees tend to drift and job-hopping tendencies are more likely to make a hopeful employee very difficult to fold into a new organization. Avoiding the encouragement of this style of job-hopping takes more than simply offering insurance coverage and mild pleasantries at the water cooler.

Learn from careers with high turnover

To fight burnout, you must first understand its root causes. Industries that involve constant interaction with customers are often hotbeds for frequent turnover, especially customer service and remote service jobs. Working at call centers means seeing dozens of co-workers come and go every year, but reducing call center attrition is just as possible as fighting burnout elsewhere. First and foremost: If you believe your company will face high turnover without working to stop it, expect to see it come to pass.

Call center jobs take place in a high-stress environment where workers may be hastily trained due to assumed turnover and their performance is constantly held over their heads to keep them in line. While some find this approach motivational and challenge-oriented, most employees will find it stressful to the point of losing interest within a year. If your industry is high-intensity and burnout is expected, putting measure in place that make employees feel valued without completely bottoming out your ability to clear a workload should be a top priority.

Know your employees’ goals

Knowing the goals of your business is only a smaller part of understanding why your employees act as they do. There’s no lack of career awareness advice that extols the virtues of staying abreast of changes in your industry, money management and other realistic career goals. If you cut them off from fulfilling these goals, you run the risk of making them feel trapped in their current job.

Offering resources for furthering education and promoting a healthy work atmosphere are vital to keeping employees’ content with their careers. Without contentment they’ll begin to see their job as an obligation to be dealt with and moved past rather than a career worth investing time and effort into.

Learn from the strengths of your competitors

When an employee is poached, they are essentially faced with a simple choice between company loyalty and a higher salary. Feeling stuck in a rut without any ties to a job makes for an easy mark, especially when a bigger paycheck is dangled over their heads. You can either learn from your competitors’ strengths or adjust your own work culture to foster deeper ties, if not both.

If you aren’t in a position to boost salaries, you’ll find the currency of employee opinions to be infinitely more valuable. Listening to feedback given with an open mind can make the difference between complacency and eagerness in those under your employ. By listening and instituting change when necessary you set the example in which employees feel there is a chance to improve their current situation instead of moving to another employer. Hopelessness is the last step before burnout.

When in doubt, listen to the world around you. If your employees or competing employers are looking for new solutions to problems, find out why. Seek out feedback and don’t be afraid to improve the lives of your employees or they’ll never find a reason to invest back into your company.


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