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Nearly eight in ten employees (79 per cent) worldwide suffer from burnout despite 68 per cent being “satisfied” with their work environment, according to O.C. Tanner’s recently released 2020 Global Culture Report.

The findings are based on a survey of 20,088 workers in 15 countries.

About 40 per cent of employees say they’re experiencing “moderate-to-severe” burnout. Meanwhile, 95 per cent of the HR professionals believe burnout is hurting their organization’s ability to retain workers.

“Employee burnout is costly,” reads an excerpt from the report.

“… Companies with moderate-to-severe burnout have a 376 [per cent] decrease in the odds of having highly engaged employees, 87 per cent decrease in likelihood to stay, 22 per cent decreased work output, and 41 per cent decrease in the perception of the employee experience.”

Burnout is also linked to health issues like high cholesterol, heart disease, and premature death.

Causes

A toxic work environment spurred by mismanagement has been identified as a leading cause, generating a 157 per cent increase in moderate-to-severe burnout among workers.

“Even the smallest lapses in workplace culture can lead to mild burnout,” reads the report.

“Past research shows a lack of appreciation, conflicts in cooperation, role ambiguity, and role stress are all found to be strong predictors of burnout.”

Minorities more likely to suffer burnout

While the report doesn’t separate participants by race or gender, a separate paper published in April 2018 suggests women of all ethnicities are more likely to suffer from burnout

“Our results show there are differences between men and women because, from the outset, employees are subject to different working conditions depending on their gender,” study author and professor of population health Dr. Nancy Beauregard told The Independent.

“Many women have positions that offer little latitude in decision-making, meaning that their work only provides them with a low level of authority and decision-making power and makes little use of their skills. This type of position, which men are less likely to hold, causes women to burn out.”

Visible minoritiesdisabled workers, and members of the LGBTQ community are also at a higher risk of burnout, often due to exposure to overt or subtle forms of discrimination.

July survey compiled by the Institute of Physics, the Royal Astronomy Academy, and the Royal Society of Chemistry suggests that close to a third of physical scientists from the LGBTQ+ community in the UK have considered quitting their jobs due to the work environment.

In October, a report on California’s Central Valley cited high levels of burnout among female, non-white, and/or LGBTQ+ healthcare workers across the region, with professionals reporting widespread incidents of workplace harassment.