When a staff engagement survey revealed that employees at the Endocrine Society were feeling burned out, CEO Kate Fryer and her senior leadership team set out to delve deeper into what was driving the trend—and remedy it.
Survey responses showed that employees were under strain both from a heavy workload and from digital overexposure during the pandemic. Fryer and her team followed up with an environmental scan, examining research from national and global surveys that showed that radical increases in virtual meetings and bloated workloads were contributing to employee burnout on a much larger scale. It became clear that addressing employee burnout had to be a top priority for the association.
In addition to this issue, the society was grappling with several challenges simultaneously. Like many organizations, it wanted to make sure it was an attractive employer to better retain employees amid the Great Resignation. And Fryer is a new CEO who arrived a year ago, filling a yearlong leadership gap. It was time to look at the society’s whole landscape and culture and to set the organization up for innovation, she said.
By outlining the problems the society was facing, the leadership team could then test various solutions. It had become clear that it was more than workloads and digital fatigue that employees were dealing with: It was their whole selves.
“We needed to make sure we were doing it holistically across the board,” Fryer said. “That has been a core value of ours.”