For the past few decades, psychological researchers have been aware of a phenomenon called ego depletion: the wearing down of willpower and self-control. The most common understanding of the subject holds that willpower is a finite resource, which can be used up or exhausted over the course of a single day (Baumeister et al, 1998). This has been supported by research showing that when a person is asked to exert a ton of willpower (for example, by ignoring loud noises to complete a difficult task), they make more impulsive decisions afterward.
When workers are absent from work, this can cause many problems for organizations. Although organizations expect employees to take time off for doctor appointments and sickness, excessive absenteeism can lead to decreased productivity (Forbes, 2013). One of the best competitive advantages for organizations is the people that they hire. When talent is absent from work, this can have a deleterious effect on organizational effectiveness. A survey of European countries conducted by Eurofound revealed that, on average, rates of absence across Europe are between 3% and 6% of working time. Taking this into consideration makes absenteeism rate a hidden champion key performance indicator (KPI) for productivity, employee engagement and leadership effectiveness. This blog post discusses the causes and costs of absenteeism as well as how to measure and reduce it.
One of the current “trends” in the science of management is examining employees’ resilience. Like “emotional intelligence” and “grit” before it, “resilience” has become a desirable and much-discussed quality that hiring managers seek and leaders work to increase (Leadbeater, Dodgen, & Solarz, 2005). This is not without reason – resilience has been found to predict long-term success in a variety of fields (Klohen, 1996).
Leaders within organizations are tasked with taking time to know what burnout is, how to identify it, how to prevent it, and how to address it if it spotted. It may seem like that is a personal matter for the employee to tend to, however, there is evidence to the contrary. Organizations are, at the core, made up of people. Not taking care of them is like neglecting any process or element of the business. If you don’t address this problem which may be lurking in your workplace, it could cost the company capital, both human and financial.