CNN: Employee Burnout Around…

http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/21/employee-burnout-around-the-corner-already-here/

All of this advice might sound like common sense, but most companies don’t want to broach the subject of burnout.  If they did, they’d have to “change their expectations, hire more employees, reduce demands, and most won’t do that,” Downey says. But they do this at their own peril.

“Ultimately the biggest price companies’ pay for burnout is a loss of talented people. As the economy improves, they will leave the enterprise,” Izzo says.  If a manager hears an employee saying, “I don’t have a life on this job,” burnout is around the corner, he says.

At my job, we recently had a section or division which decided to unionize. Since then our job has been making big strides to try and placate or possibly improve morale, but the problem is that the very job we are required to do is stressful. Dealing with customers is one thing but the way we have to deal with customers is the problem. Ignoring our own humanity, ignoring our feelings, foregoing respect, and being appreciative in response to disrespect and uncivil, inhumane treatment.

9-2-12: Customer Service to me is practically synonymous with burnout or at very least cause for being jaded. The new V.P. in my job at one point (possibly slipped up and) said “no one wakes up in the morning and wants to take a phone call from a customer”. I nodded my head in agreement. As much as I used to want to help people, and still try to, I am so jaded with humanity. In my worst job I’ve dealt with as many as 130 customers on a daily basis and it was an odd day if I could say I had two good customers.  I estimated at one point that I have had well over 156,000 customer interactions in a blog post call “Fake It ‘Till You Make It”. I will go off of those low ball calculations and say that is only about 3,200 people in almost a 12 year span who I could honestly say treated me as if I was more than a servant or a slave; who did not treat me as though I was less than human.

They love to tell you in these customer service jobs, that you must remember “it’s not personal, they are angry at the company” but that does not help at all. Would you take that advice on the opposite side? Most people would get offended just thinking about that. What I hear all the time from people is “that is their job”, “that is what they are paid to do”, but is any amount of money enough to be treated inhumane? Would the LGBT community go back “in the closet” for a weekly paycheck? Would Africans sell themselves back into slavery? Would Jews offer to go to the gas chambers for a weekly paycheck for their children? Yes there are a minority of people that probably would take those offers, but the majority of people including customer service representatives would not accept payment to be treated inhuman.

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