Burnout is bad for business. For the workers it can be even worse.
Overworked warehouse associates are quitting their jobs like never before. As peak volumes pressure warehouses into meeting demand, more workers are at risk of burning out.
Burnout puts employees under serious mental and physical stress. From the business standpoint, it also eats away at productivity and profit. Here are five reasons why burnout could be the cause of your warehouse's struggling bottom line.
1. When employees burn out, their work does too
During the busiest times of the year, like the holiday season, warehouses are under even more pressure to perform. While demand increases, so does physical and emotional stress around the warehouse. If workloads aren't carefully managed, workers can burn out fast.
The result can be catastrophic for both the business and the worker. On top of mental stress and exhaustion, warehouse productivity takes a big hit, too. The irony of peak volume is that the harder employees are worked, the more difficult it is to stay productive.
2. Burned out workers are disengaged from the job
Once warehouse associates begin experiencing burnout, it's a slippery slope into disengagement. Workplace performance takes a backseat when an employee starts to question their passion for the job.
According to Gallup, only 20% of workers globally are engaged in their jobs. Workers who are actively engaged, Gallup claims, are much more productive, profitable and safe in the workplace. Of course, disengaged employees are much the opposite — far more damaging to the bottom line.
3. Cynical attitudes are tanking workplace morale
Burned out employees are understandably less happy at work. They often feel overworked, directionless and misunderstood.
Even worse, those attitudes can spread throughout the warehouse and tank employee morale. Managers who regularly communicate with staff and maintain a good attitude and open dialogue will notice a positive impact on workplace sentiment. Making employees feel heard and valued will do wonders for your business' end goal.
4. Exhaustion could be a risk to safety
Employee burnout isn't just about workplace stress. There are serious physical considerations to take into account.
According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the leading symptoms of burnout is fatigue. Exhausted workers are less in control of their actions and a threat to safety. In warehouses where heavy machinery is inherently dangerous, fatigued operators could put themselves and others in danger.
Not only could burnout lead to accidents, but it can be disastrous for compliance. Warehouses need to adhere to strict regulations and standards. Any workplace riddled with burnout is prime for noncompliance, which could result in substantial regulatory sanctions or fines.
5. Employees are costly to replace
When workloads are too much and stress piles up, workers are much more likely to leave their jobs. For warehouses, this should be especially concerning during an ongoing labor shortage that plagues the supply chain.
In addition to their lost productivity, the cost of recruiting, training and onboarding a new hire becomes burdensome to the business. In some cases, the cost of losing a worker to burnout can exceed a large portion of their yearly salary.
Of course, these expenses eat away at the bottom line. But if your warehouse gets ahead of burnout, you'll keep both your business and your workforce safe.