By Claudia Tay
You may have efficient and productive employees in your company. However, it is also imperative to ensure that their work does not lead to burnout over time. Eventually, as an employer, you will want to retain your employees for as long as possible, expecting that they will grow and take your company to greater heights. If not, your effort, time and money spent on grooming your employees from the beginning, will go waste. Preventing burnout and recognizing the red flags or signs earlier, are important strategies every company should take on. Losing your best team to another company is the last thing you want to see.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is being in a state of chronic work-related stress and a common danger for your best team of healthy employees. They can lead to exhibiting symptoms of overwhelming fatigue, feelings of cynicism and detachment from job and inefficacy. Exhaustion can mean physical and emotional fatigue and that it can affect your employees to work effectively and how they feel positively about themselves and their lives. Cynicism disengages your employees and makes your employees detach and less motivated from their work. Inefficacy is a lack of productivity, lack of achievement, having poor performance and feeling hopelessness and being in the sense of incompetence.
Causes of Burnout
Common causes of burnout include extreme work demands and overloading of work, prolonged and never-ending pressure like endless deadlines to meet, adapting to new significant changes in the company, the constant stress of meeting the expectations of employers, continuous pressure to work remotely, etc.
Help your Team Prevent Burnout
1) Job and Time Management.
Advise your employees to plan their job arrangement well. Time management is essential and always leave on time if possible and not spent hours overtime in office. Try to prioritize responsibilities and minimize distractions.
2) Autonomy in the Workplace
“New research into workplace culture has found that employees with higher levels of autonomy in their work reported positive effects on their overall well-being and higher levels of job satisfaction.’ – The University of Birmingham, 25 Apr 2017.
Depending on your Company and Industry, if your employees have the choice and freedom to control their work environment, the trust and ownership they held will increase the employee engagement and employee motivation they have with the company. This co-relates with reducing burnout when employees are happy and engaged.
3) Annual leave/ Time off Planning.
– Leaves are employees’ entitlement, and proper planning within the company can allow different employees to go on short break without affecting work done for various departments. Employees on their leave days will be able to do the things they want to do at their leisure time, go for a short break overseas, or it can be just simply resting at home without worrying about work.
4) Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle.
Being active and healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally will revitalize your employees and perk up their energy level! You can advise them to sweat it out with a spinning class, a short run or go for a yoga class, even if it is just 30 minutes a day, three times a week. It will make their muscles work, and regular exercise keep their stress level down and improve self-confidence. Meditate before sleep helps to calm and relax their mind too. These prevent physical and mental exhaustion that causes burnout.
5) Regular Feedback and Communication
Employees whose manager is always willing to listen to their work-related problems are 62% less likely to be burned out, according to Gallup. Managers and the management should keep their communication channel open and also communicate with their employees regularly. When communicating more frequently, they should be able to identify any possible tell-tale signs of burnout more efficiently, like seeing employees being less focused at work, easily fatigued, and also be able to talk to employees more efficiently. Management also needs to provide a channel whereby employees can readily give their feedback. A bottom-up communication is essential so that the management can hear the voices, take actions and give feedback accordingly. It can be open and transparent as to which employees are giving feedback or anonymous so that employees can be slightly more honest about their feelings.
Rewards from employers need not to be huge but small regular rewards can be comforting and rewarding, and these are important to prevent burnout. Other than monetary rewards, words of recognition and appreciation are of importance too.
7) Great Team
A crucial element for a happier work life is to have a great team to work with. Great camaraderie and having supportive co-workers build trusting and loving relationships.
Preventing burnout will be ideal but helping your team to identify the early signs will be even better. As management or a colleague, you can set examples by following through these steps. It would help you to prevent burnout as well!