One of the biggest dangers to you and your team is burnout. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding situations. Specific symptoms of burnout include having a negative and critical attitude at work, having low energy and little interest at work, having trouble sleeping, and experiencing physical complaints such as headaches, illness, or backache.
The consequences of burnout can be severe. Productivity, creativity, and desire can drastically decrease. Not only affecting your career, burnout can also spill over into your personal life, negatively impacting your personal well-being and relationships. Employees who report burnout are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times as likely to leave their current employer.
Here are three techniques to prevent your team from reaching a point of burnout.
- Improve Communication
Having a manager who’s willing to listen to an employees’ work problems decreases the likelihood of burnout among employees. Managers need to improve their dialogue with employees so there is an opportunity for employees to comfortably raise issues and for managers to notice behavior that’s out of the ordinary.
Once trust and rapport have been built with an employee, the door will open for them to more easily ask if everything is okay when they notice an employee seems to be struggling.
- Provide Support
Employee stress can escalate if appropriate levels of support aren’t available, resulting in lower efficiency and a higher risk of burnout. Providing support in the workplace can promote employee productivity to avoid current or future burnout.
Developing a workplace plan is a practical strategy to support an employee who may be experiencing burnout. Some ideas are:
- Recognize successes and victories to build back a potential loss of confidence in an employee.
- Organize and prioritize work into manageable and clear expectations. Without a clear set of objectives, employees are essentially flying blind, lacking purpose and objectives.
- Review how we’re using artificial intelligence to nurture our workforce here.
- Promote a better work-life balance
Employers need to understand that the definition of ‘work-life balance’ is different for everyone. Balancing work and life should be respected and supported. Every human being requires necessary downtime to maintain personal happiness, recharge their batteries and work to the best of their ability. Some ideas are:
- Allow your employees to have flexible work hours. Flextime will allow your employees to have a life outside of work. If your workforce is getting the work done, then why are you compelling them to gloomily work 9 hours a day and miss important life events?
- Support telecommuting. Some workers are up to 13% more productive working from home than working at the office. This gives employees the chance to take care of their personal needs, while still getting work done.
- Promote health initiatives. Long work hours and commutes often force employees to sacrifice health and fitness. Offer discount gym memberships, hold optional classes at work or sponsor company sports teams!
- Culture. A positive workplace reflects high retention rates and is often the secret to high productivity. Here are some ideas for improving yours.
As an employer, it is part of your responsibility to look after your employees’ well-being. Chances are, your employees aren’t going to admit to you directly that they’re feeling overworked or stressed (they don’t want you thinking they can’t handle their job, after all). This means that most of the time, it will probably be up to you to recognize when your employees need more balance. Learn to recognize the signs, but moreover, implement these aforementioned tactics to prevent burnout from occurring in your workplace.