Once you have qualified employees on board, are you and your team doing everything you can to keep them engaged and motivated to do great work? According to a recent study from culture agency O.C. Tanner, employers aren't doing enough today to encourage employee loyalty. 

The study, titled the "2020 Global Culture Report," found that 59 percent of employees would quit their job today if offered a position at a different company with a similar role, pay, and benefits. Survey respondents included more than 20,000 employees and leaders across 15 countries. 

Also highlighted in the study was one of the key factors that drive employees to quit-- burnout. The report found that 79 percent of employees experience mild to severe burnout while 40 percent experience moderate to severe burnout. This can lead to such negative effects as an 87 percent decrease in the probability of an employee staying with the organization and a 22 percent decrease in productivity.

Given these findings, what can your team do to prevent employee burnout and keep your top performers engaged? I've outlined some key tips below. 

1. Never stop hiring.

Whether your company is growing or an employee leaves your team, anytime you have an open role, other employees need to pick up the slack until you hire the right person. And if you don't have the right strategy in place to fill this role quickly, employees with increased workloads are likely to face burnout -- and might even quit.

To ensure your current employees don't get overworked, it's important to have a proactive, continuous hiring strategy in place.

Whether or not you're hiring immediately, always keep at least a few roles posted on your careers page -- especially for roles you know are high turnover or that you fill throughout the year.

For example, at my company of more than 200 employees, we know we'll regularly hire for sales and customer success roles as we continue to grow, so we keep these roles open continuously on our website. 

In addition to keeping roles open on your careers page, another step you can take is to build a network of potential candidates. For example, if you had a few final-round candidates you almost hired for a recent role, keep their information on hand for when you have an upcoming job opening. This will ultimately speed up your time to hire and keep your team from burning out. 

2. Set employees up for continued success. 

A top reason employees might face burnout -- and consider leaving for other job opportunities -- is because, despite their hard work, they don't see their careers going anywhere with your team.

As a starting point, regularly check in with your employees. Have managers set up recurring one-on-one meetings with their direct reports and have your HR team touch base with each employee every so often. During these meetings, ask employees how their workloads are, which projects they're the most passionate about, and if there's anything you can do to support their career growth. 

Beyond these meetings, also outline measurable steps employees can take to grow in their careers. For example, share a step-by-step career path and key goals employees need to reach to move up the career path. Continue to meet with employees regularly to see how they're tracking toward these goals, and outline any steps they can take to improve. 

By setting aside time to meet with your employees and maintaining defined career paths, employees will feel valued, be less likely to face burnout, and be motivated to reach the next level in their careers with your team. 

In today's competitive hiring market, your team can't afford to lose your best employees to similar job opportunities at other organizations simply because they are facing burnout. By taking steps to prevent burnout, you can boost employee loyalty and, as a result, increase productivity at your company.

Published on: Sep 26, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.