Written by Abby Thorp

The link between inefficiency and burnout.

In the face of the economic crisis, clients are slashing their marketing budgets, requiring you to do more with less while demanding a better return on investment. The relentless stress, worry and pressure that harvest within an agency is growing.

The problem

The marketing industry has always been long hours and high pressure.

Given that the marketing and advertising industry experiences one of the highest annual rates of staff turnover, it’s evident that the problem does not sit with the individual contributors but exists at an organisational level.

The advertising and marketing industry has always had the perception of long hours and highly pressured environments. This has been amplified with the uncertainty of the economic climate and companies reducing their advertising budgets due to high inflation and less spending power.

Gartner recently published that agency fees were among the first targets of budget cuts. Putting an increased amount of pressure on agency owners and subsequently on the teams that service them.

This is resulting in cutbacks, people leaving and not being replaced, placing additional responsibilities on existing teams, forcing them to acquire new skills and take on multiple roles and therefore adding to the big ‘burnout’ problem.

Inefficiency leads to burnout.

So, where does inefficiency fit in? Over 20% of each employee’s time is wasted on inefficient tasks. For a team that is under pressure and overworked, these inefficiencies can be the difference between enjoying work or feeling stressed. How much happier would your team be if you reduced their workload by 20%?

The question that needs to be asked is, if you direct your efforts towards rectifying inefficiencies, can this effectively combat burnout?

Inefficiency is driving teams towards burnout
Burnout is causing teams to be inefficient

50% have experienced stress or burnout.

It’s revealed that half of workers reported having experienced “severe” stress, anxiety or burnout in the past 12 months – up to three times on average. – Campaign

The solution

Acknowledge burnout.

Be aware of the common signs and symptoms of burnout. These can include chronic fatigue, reduced motivation, cynicism, increased irritability, decreased job satisfaction and decline in job performance. If you notice these traits in someone, try and fact find and identify if someone is feeling burnout and if they are, what is the root cause?

This can either be directly or indirectly (via close colleague or trusted HR). Then try and work out what the best solution is to supporting that person through their working environment.

The solution

Prioritise Wellbeing.

Every business wants a healthy bottom line, but to truly accomplish this, too many business owners are focusing on profits and ROI rather than focusing on their people. The best way to get the most out of your teams is to focus on their needs, not yours and in return the productivity and efficiency will follow.

You will see a dramatic increase in your profitability. Encourage your employees to focus on their own wellbeing and make sure you are making time to focus on yours too. Something as simple as acknowledging when you’re feeling tired or burnt out will help you acknowledge it in others. A simple task like hosting a walking meeting rather than a meeting room can have a huge impact on morale.

The solution

Harness the power of technology.

Technology is a brilliant way to optimise your workflows and automate manual, repetitive tasks. And with the digital revolution we are in, now is the time to take advantage of what is available.

The power of technology allows your teams to reduce their workloads without having to reduce their output, if anything, it will increase productivity, reduce inefficiencies and you will be able to take on more while reducing your teams stress.

How much is inefficiency costing your agency?

Fundamentally, the people in your business are the ones who run your business and if you run them into the ground, the work produced will be subpar and the creative potential people have will be difficult to unlock. Look at ways to reduce each person’s workload through automation and technology because this will lift each person’s workload and will directly impact your bottom line in a positive way. Use our free calculator to see how much your agency is losing due to inefficiency.