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Burnout: The Business Burden That Is Still Being Ignored

Which New Zealand region is most at risk?

A Skills Consulting Group report gives a stark warning to Canterbury businesses that don’t prioritise workplace wellbeing – organisations will be out of people and out of pocket if employers continue putting their head in the sand.

Newly released data from the Skills Consulting Group Work Wellbeing Index surveying more than 1800 New Zealand workers revealed Canterbury’s wellbeing score out of 100 is 56, six points down from twelve months ago – and the lowest ranked of all New Zealand regions.

While the New Zealand’s average wellbeing score is 61 and is consistent with last year’s national score (62), the Index shows that a third of Kiwi businesses still don’t have any kind of wellbeing programme in place, despite one in three employees say they have either experienced burnout or known someone who has in their workplace.

“Burnout is insidious and invasive for both the person suffering and the business they work for. It’s a disease, which left untreated, can leave the person scared and the business out of pocket,” says Jane Kennelly, GM Wellbeing, Skills Consulting Group.

“The fact that one third of Kiwi businesses still haven’t got the message means there is a mis-match between what employees need and what businesses are offering. If businesses don’t take heed they will pay with people on long-term sick leave, growing attrition rates and increased recruitment costs.”

The research points to the key drivers of wellbeing including showing genuine care, enabling personal care, having wellbeing structures and programmes in place, enabling care of others, manager genuine care, and team member and colleague care.

“If an organisation understands these critical drivers then they can start pulling together the programmes and tools their staff need,” said Kennelly.

The research also shows that certain industries and other demographics are struggling more than others with burnout. The highest levels of burnout are in the government (47%) and healthcare (48%) sectors. Meanwhile women were more likely, at 41%, than men (34%) to experience burnout in the workplace.

“The fact that healthcare workers experienced higher levels of burnout is unsurprising, given the ongoing pressures on that workforce,” says Kennelly. “In terms of women, it’s likely that women were responsible for the bulk of the childcare at home at the same time as managing their workload in a pandemic environment.”

According to Kennelly, there is a way forward and it starts with understanding Ok-nomics – a concept that centres on if staff ‘are OK’ and feeling valued, rewarded, and listened-to, will create a culture of success. Staff who don’t will have the opposite effect.

“Once leaders understand and accept this concept they can look at the wellbeing drivers and start pulling together a strategy to transform their workforce. It isn’t about providing fruit and discounted gym memberships, it’s about the systemic care of understanding the cause, identifying what your people need and treating the cause - not the symptoms.”

Click here to read the SCG Work Wellbeing Index 2022 Burn Out report.


About the Skills Consulting Group Work Wellbeing Index

The Index was commissioned by Skills Consulting Group and developed in conjunction with leading insights agency TRA. It is based on research which ran between 27 November to 15 December2021.It surveyed 1831 New Zealanders aged 18+ who are employed either full- or part-time and 105 HR managers across 11 industries.

About Skills Consulting Group

We are Skills Consulting Group, an international team of experts in learning & development, workplace wellbeing and education consulting based in New Zealand and working with clients around the world.

We live and breathe workplace capability. We work closely with industry. We help organisations upskill their workforce. We assist countries to drive their economic growth. And right at the core of everything we do is people.

Through the Skills Consulting Group’s network of specialist services and brands, we will work with you to tailor solutions that meet the unique needs of your organisation and your people. And stay tuned; there’s more to come.

We’ll be releasing five reports over the next couple of months, where we’ll be focusing on several different themes in relation to workplace wellbeing.

About TRA

TRA is New Zealand’s largest privately owned insights agency – working with corporate and government clients across Australasia. Their expertise spansinsights, strategy, behavioural science, data and analytics, and design.

In 2018 TRA was awarded Gold for the most effective piece of insights work globally in the ESOMAR research effectiveness awards. And in 2020 they were named 5thmost innovative company in Australia and New Zealand for Media and Marketing and were awarded Best Innovation Programme by the Australian Financial Review.

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