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Derek Bishop

Director

Burnt out but engaged?

Date added: 03rd Jul 2015
Category: Employee Engagement

If you can enjoy work and yet be disengaged, can the converse be true; can people have a less than ideal work experience and yet still be engaged?

Employee engagement, it’s just having fun at work, right? Wrong! It’s perfectly possible to have a scenario in which people love coming to work, playing on the pool tables, chatting with their friends and yet are far from being engaged or aligned with the business strategy.

If you can enjoy work and yet be disengaged, can the converse be true; can people have a less than ideal work experience and yet still be engaged? A recent US survey suggested that this could indeed be the case. The survey conducted by Staples Advantage reported that 53% of employees felt overworked and burnt out and yet 86% still reported feeling happy and motivated.

One question arising from the survey is whether employees are genuinely engaged in the business or whether they are becoming conditioned to a long hours culture and see this as a way of furthering their own careers. Certainly the survey would indicate that this may well be the case with nearly two thirds of those responding looking for a managerial position within five years. In addition, one in five of employees questioned anticipated changing jobs within the next year.

Whilst self-motivation can be a powerful driving force, leaders should not confuse a drive to succeed with engagement in organisational values. With 66% of employees acknowledging that burnout is having a negative effect on productivity, it is certainly true that employers who want to make the most of their workforce may need to re-evaluate the time and workload pressures which they are placing on employees.

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