Stress and burnout have taken a toll on workers — and not just on some of the record 47 million people who quit their jobs last year. Even those who stuck it out are feeling the pressure.
A new Gallup report found that workers are experiencing stress at an all-time high. In North America, 50 percent of workers reported feeling stressed at their jobs the previous day, and 41 percent reported feeling worried, according to the report.
“These emotions are organizational risks. If leaders aren’t paying attention to employee wellbeing, they’re likely to be blindsided by top performer burnout and high quit rates,” says a Harvard Business Review summary of the findings.
In addition to employee well-being and retention, there are other reasons businesses should put a focus on employees’ happiness. The Gallup report found businesses with engaged workers have 23 percent higher profits compared with those whose workers aren’t engaged, and businesses with engaged employees also have better customer loyalty and lower absenteeism and accidents.
The dilemma, however, is that “[employees] can’t be engaged in your company if they are burned out” and many of them are, says Barry Gottlieb, a coach and author who works with the floral industry and founded Coaching the Winner’s Edge.
There are many ways leaders can help employees feel better at work, Gottlieb says. For instance, leaders, co-workers and employees themselves should be able to recognize the signs of stress and burnout and be equipped with techniques to help, he says.
Gottlieb will share actionable steps to manage stress, practice gratitude and promote well-being during his presentation, “Feel Better! Wellness and Mindfulness for Teams,” at the Society of American Florists’ 137th annual convention Sept. 6-8 in Orlando, Florida.
“My goal is to share strategies, so people recognize that this is stuff we need to deal with,” Gottlieb says.
Several other SAF Orlando 2022 sessions are also focused on reducing turnover through employee well-being and growth. Bart David, of the consulting firm R3Think, will talk about how to motivate employees and develop their talents and leadership skills during part two of his presentation, “Cultivating Talent that Blooms.” His first presentation focuses on how to market the appeal of the floral industry to attract top talent, and what a great onboarding and training experience looks like.
The first step to creating loyal, happy employees, David says, is changing the way owners and managers think about interacting with and inspiring employees. Even the word “retain,” David says, needs to be reconsidered.
“It should be about inspiring,” he says. “No one wants to be retained. If I feel retained, I feel stuck somewhere. Give [employees] projects that inspire them, fuel them and grow them professionally.”
Lack of professional growth was cited by a Pew Research Center survey as one of the biggest reasons employees quit. Of the workers polled, 63 percent said the top reason they left was because there was no opportunity for advancement, and just as many cited low pay. The survey also found that 53 percent of the workers who quit their jobs successfully landed jobs that provided more opportunity for growth.
Other convention sessions that focus on employee growth and wellness include:
- Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders
- Idea Swap: Staff Incentives and Retention Hacks
- Gen Z to Boomers: Working Together for Success
Amanda Jedlinsky is the managing editor of SAF NOW.