A question I ask candidates in an interview is, “Why are you interested in a new position?” All too often the candidate responds by saying that they feel over-worked and under-appreciated at their current job and want a new opportunity.

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I’ve interviewed people whose titles are receptionist or office manager and discovered they also do deal administration, marketing and listing co-ordination. Plus, they’re often expected to be on-call outside of their regular working hours. In most brokerages, these functions are divided between four different employees.

In situations where one administrator is expected to do the job of several, employee burn out is often the result. This isn’t unique to real estate, it’s common across many industries. In a Deloitte survey on employee burn out, 77 per cent of the respondents reported they have experienced burn out at their current job.

Since 2019, employee burn out – defined as physical and emotional exhaustion in workers resulting from prolonged stress in their work environment – is recognized by the World Health Organization as a condition that can lead to mental health problems.

Employee burn out leads to increased absenteeism, persistent irritability, indifference towards work and ultimately, reduced productivity. Put plainly, employees who are burnt out are unhappy and more likely to act with ambivalence or apathy and make careless mistakes. They often spread negativity throughout their day-to-day work interactions (though not necessarily intentionally), which poisons the work environment and brings down office morale. This can lead to other employees wanting to leave so they don’t have to work in such a negative environment.

If you think employee burn out is affecting your workplace, all is not lost. It will take some time and effort, but you can reverse the damage and reengage your employee(s). It starts with recognizing and acknowledging the problem, and actively working to lighten the overwhelming workload. For more ideas, check out this Forbes article.

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