Something is Eroding our Foundations…

Hard-hitting Facts about a Serious Issue in Our Organizations (and what you can do about it)

Brace yourself – this post is a bit harder-hitting with some real stats that leaders should not ignore. We have a crisis mounting, and we need to start dealing with it.

Attractive woman in pain

Burnout is a prevalent problem in advanced market economies, and recent economic downturns have created conditions that increase the likelihood of burnout within organizations (Brown and Quick, 2013) – the stats reveal that this “likelihood” is upon us, it it is costing us more than we may have realized.

According to the 2010 General Social Survey (GSS), 27% of Canadian workers described their lives on most days as ‘quite a bit’ or ‘extremely’ stressful. This means that almost 3.7 million working adults went through a regular day feeling a high level of stress. Another 6.3 million (46%) said they were ‘a bit’ stressed.

The majority of highly stressed workers (62%) identified work as their main source of stress. That so many working Canadians would feel very stressed about work is not surprising: they are on the job for a substantial part of the day; it consumes a great deal of their mental and often physical energy; and they must meet those challenges year after year.

Statistics Canada found that lost productivity from presenteeism was at least 7.5 times greater than productivity loss from absenteeism and that it is estimated that presenteeism costs Canadian businesses 15 to 25 billion dollars per year. Presenteeism occurs when employees are physically present, but due to an unaddressed physical or emotional issue, distracted to the point of reduced productivity. This stat blows my mind!

For an average company of 500 employees, untreated depression alone costs $1.4 million in lost work days and lost productivity annually, and this does not include the costs related to bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders. Let’s rough that out at $2800/year per employee. Now do the math for your organization. In addition to the math of today, ask yourself where your organization will be 5 years down the road as the trend continues (Note: Mental health issues of depression and anxiety in the workplace have doubled in the last five years in Canada). Then also add the increase in recruitment, training and legal costs due to dealing with employees as they leave. Sources suggest that financial rewards for damages against employers have increased by as much as 700% in the past 5 years.

Why are people experiencing anxiety, depression and burnout at work? A recent study by the Canadian Mental Health Association lists the following factors as significantly aggravating:
• Imposition of unreasonable demands;
• Withholding of information;
• Refusal to allow employee discretion over methods of work;
• Failure to acknowledge or credit employee contributions
• Failure to recognize the legitimate rights of employees.

I propose that there is a way to significantly address and mitigate these issues in your workplace:


Organizational cultures can facilitate greater health and resiliency through the establishment of three key components (The ONE24 Accountability System) that ensures a psychologically safe and productive work environment:
1. Articulation of mission, vision, values, roles, practices & protocols
2. 100% bilateral accountability in the practice of the above
3. Mechanisms for grace and reconciliation

Its about One mission where all are one hundred percent accountable to and for each other in successful partnership.

Individual resiliency can be positively impacted through the practice of three core values: Objectivity, Responsibility and Nurture – all set in the context of “Grace”. (Here grace is defined as the space/freedom for all to move in the direction of their full potential)

For a bit of an orientation on how bilateral accountability works in an organization, here is a link to an article published this past year in SaskBusiness Magazine: Necessary Challenges

Click here for a downloadable brochure.

For a free consultation on how I can help to facilitate resilience in your workplace, contact me here: Resilience Help – reply in this post – or email me directly at