The Deadly Toll Of Exhaustion And Burnout

Countless companies and organizations are quickly turning their focus to the consequences of employee exhaustion and burnout -- but not quickly enough. Early Saturday morning, a truck driver who reportedly hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours crashed and killed comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair. Actor Tracy Morgan was also critically injured. And only a few days before the accident, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved to weaken federal trucker fatigue rules and regulations.

Life and career strategist for physicians Dike Drummond and licensed mental health counselor and career coach Kristen Tolbert joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani today to discuss why organizations should be increasingly proactive about their employees' personal health rather than easing up for the sake of productivity.

“Burnout is intimately related to quality and safety, in healthcare as well as with truck drivers,” said Drummond. “If you talk about safety, if you talk about quality, if you talk about mental health, it all rolls back to what’s the level of burnout in the workplace.”

Tolbert explained how it needs to be the organization’s responsibility to make employees feel comfortable with taking the time they need to rest and recover.

“It’s a matter of not realizing how important quality of life is, work-life balance, and the costs associated with poor performance,” she said. “And I think employees have some struggles with pressure and guilt and shame about taking time off even when they’re sick or really need to or they need to sleep. It’s really important that organizations pay attention to those kinds of things and make sure their employees are taking really good care of their health.”

To hear more about the connections between employee burnout, work quality and general safety, watch the full video clip above.