Do you have a checklist of the must-have things at our workplace? Well, to be honest, employee burnout should never be a part of it. Period.
If you are experiencing reduced productivity at the office or an increase in conflicts, employee burnout may very well be the reason behind it!
What is Employee Burnout?
Employee Burnout is an absolute no-no for the good people over at HR. It is one of the most significant issues of today, which is eating the companies from inside-out. Due to its commonality, it has been classified as a chronic health condition by the World Health Organization.
In their words, this phenomenon is summed up as appended…
“Employee Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
Why Shouldn’t We Overlook It?
According to Gallup, 23% of the workers have reported having experienced employee burnout at the workplace. That is almost 1/4th of the workforce!
No matter how loyal a worker is, employee burnout cannot be let go ignored for long. Stressed employees seldom perform up to the mark. That is why HR managers are always striving to avoid employee burnout at all levels of the company.
A business cannot hope to survive with problems like burnout at the workplace. Its impact goes beyond work performance; it can have severe health problems for employees like diabetes, heart disease, and in extreme cases, mental issues too.
Top 6 Employee Burnout Indicators
One of the easiest ways to steer clear from employee burnout is to single out the workers that show obvious indicators. Look out for the following employee burnout signs at the workplace to detect burnout in its infancy:
- Employee absenteeism
- Coming to work late
- Employees getting irritated at petty things
- A decrease in productivity/performance
- Reduced socializing at work
For years now, organizations are trying to answer the crucial question of how to reduce staff burnout?
Here’s a list of 12 simple things that you can do at the workplace to evade burnout:
Get Rid of Employee Burnout By Following These 12 Easy Steps:
1. Say No to Overwork
Overwork is one of the most obvious indicators of staff burnout.
Let me be noticeably clear here: if your employees enjoy their work and brand themselves as ‘workaholics,’ it does not mean that you bombard them with extra assignments.
Be smart in assigning work to the employees. It is best to form teams and divide the work equally. However, if individual assignments are compulsory, make sure the workload and deadline are not too harsh.
2. Know Your People
This effort is to be made by senior and middle management. Knowing your employees helps you in a lot of different ways.
For instance, not all workers are moved by the same reward. The better you know your people, the better you can motivate them.
It is a common oversight in the professional world. Some managers still think that working relationships must be formal and stay within the boundaries of the office.
3. Encourage Taking Small Breaks
No matter how efficient an employee is, you can only do so much in a single sitting. Workers are not machines. Emphasis on the human element of the word human capital.
Small breaks refresh your mind and help avoid decreased productivity as the hours go by.
Encourage this simple habit at work to avoid staff burnout before it starts to become a problem.
4. Get Away From The Desk!
This is a vital tip to ensure decreased cases of burnout in the firm. Getting away from the cubicle for a good hour or so will serve as extremely beneficial. Research says that 71% of Gen Z workers are a bit overwhelmed by the number of remote working tools they need to use. So, it is necessary to get away from your desk and take a break.
Promote this practice so that it becomes a habit in the company. If you have ever been an employee, you would know that many great ideas stem from lunch-time conversations.
5. Approve Time-off Requests from Employees
It is highly advantageous to approve employees’ time-off requests for personal commitments or simply give time to family.
By doing so, you earn their respect and love. You would be surprised to know the impact of this simple gesture.
Employees will not stress about having a work-life balance if they have a supportive boss.
But do not let this become a habit. I repeat, it should not become a habit.
6. Encourage Work/Life Balance ASAP!
Speaking about work-life balance, is a sure way of eliminating burnout. An employee whose professional life is not affecting his personal life and vice versa has not much reason to get stressed.
Similarly, a worker who has a ton of work and cannot give time to his personal life will fail at both. This is where smart firms have an edge over profit-focused companies.
Modern organizations know the importance of facilitating employees. This pandemic has taught a lot to the professional world.
Companies now know that they can achieve the same, if not better, results from the workers using the work-from-home method.
7. Time for a Holiday
Hitting the beach once in a while does wonder for you and your team. Employees tend to follow the leaders, so lead by example. Take a break and encourage others to do the same.
Most of the time, employees are so caught up in work that they forget to avail themselves of their annual leaves. This is bad for both the individual and the overall firm.
Promote a culture of taking small but regular leaves to spend some ‘me-time.’
8. Give Incentives
Who doesn’t love a little bonus, right? Not all employees crave ‘money motivation,’ but the majority of them do.
For that small portion of workers who crave something more, there is a lot you can do for them. It is the gesture that counts.
You can always have an ‘employee of the month’ prize for that one outstanding worker. Or you can have a ‘wall of fame’ for the most productive team of the month.
By introducing a bit of competition, you can boost employees to work better. The staff will work harder to be recognized in front of the whole office.
Ultimately, it will lead to decreased employee burnout.
9. Appreciate Others, It is Free of Cost
One thing that every single person in the workplace likes is praise. No doubts about that. But the thing is, you need to know the when and how of appreciation.
The when: During and after the completion of a task. Let the employees know you appreciate their efforts, even if the task is relatively small.
The How: Verbal appreciation is the way to go. Employees will remember the effort made on your part.
Also, always encourage peer-to-peer praise. It is a great achievement to have workers that appreciate one another’s work instead of competing.
As a manager, provide regular feedback to the workers. Remember, the only acceptable criticism is constructive criticism. A single incident of demeaning an employee can lead to permanent damage.
10. Let the Creativity Flow
In the style of Aemon Targaryen from Game of Thrones, I would say creativity is the death of burnout.
There, I let my creativity flow. And I feel better already!
Employees should be given a chance to let their creativity out. Everyone gets bored by doing the same task over and over again.
Have some creative assignments for all teams every week to get them hooked to work. Design exercises that are fun and help the employees in their field of work at the same time.
This practice might even help some employees realize their creative capabilities, which they didn’t know before.
11. Nothing is Perfect
Nothing is, and nothing will ever be.
Although, there’s no problem in expecting high standards in work done by the employees, demanding perfection is unfair.
Workers are not trained to work under pressure all the time. Give the room to breathe. Let them learn from their mistake.
A useful tip to get better productivity is to focus on smart work, not hard work. Let workers know what is being done wrong and what are areas of improvement.
12. Talk, Talk, and Talk!
It is a known fact that things that go undiscussed at the workplace are bound to cause complications. Streamlining communication within the organization is the fastest way to prevent staff burnout.
As a manager, ensure communication at a personal level. Most of the time, workers are hesitant to voice their opinions or discuss problems around people.
Efficient communication will not delay things at work. The primary reason behind increased stress levels in workers is their issues not being addressed timely.
So, take some time out and just talk to the employees. Even if they don’t show imminent signs of burnout, it’s good to engage in small talk at the office.
A poorly handled situation also causes staff burnout. Managers must master the art of addressing workplace issues.
Luckily for you, we have got this covered too. Since you have been with us till the very end of this listicle, here is a bonus!
Think Again – The first thing you must do while addressing a worker’s mistake is to see how it has affected you and the overall company. This will give you an excellent perspective to talk about the issue.
Listen – Then, listen to the employee’s side of the story before jumping to conclusions. A good decision is dependent on listening more and talking less.
Talk Prudently – When you finally begin to converse, tread carefully. Choose your words carefully and maintain a soft tone. It will have a better impact.
Plan – Work with the employee to work out an action plan on how to resolve the issue. Moreover, take advantage of the situation and think about how to avoid this in the future.
Exercise these 4 practices and experience a reduced employee stress level across the entire hierarchy.
Start Eliminating Employee Burnout Today!
It is time for you to get to work and start pinpointing employee burnout signs. Let me tell you this: employee burnout is NOT inevitable.
Yes, it is a highly commonly experienced phenomenon in the workplace, but you CAN get rid of it.
‘The first step is the hardest’ perfectly applies here. Identifying the root causes of staff burnout is not easy to execute.
Managers often tend to look at the issues as they are and go for the obvious option as its cause. This is where they go wrong.
The higher management must dig deeper to investigate the reasons behind this burnout. Once the source is detected, it is just a matter of time before it is dealt with.