Employees are the backbone of any organization, ensuring that products and services are delivered efficiently and all the needs of the clients are met. Ensuring they are in top working condition should be at the top of every manager’s priorities.
According to a study, employees are 20% more productive when they are happy and satisfied with their work environment. On the other hand, when employees are stressed or burned out from the workload, they will have lower job satisfaction, consequently reducing their productivity.
As an employer or HR manager, you should implement measures that prevent employee burnout and increase productivity.
What is Employee Burnout?
Many misconceptions exist when people talk about being “burned out” from work. Most employees and employers misinterpret it as feeling tired from a heavy workload, but employee burnout is much more than that.
Mayo Clinic describes job burnout as – a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.
As an employer, the first step you should take is to learn how to spot when an employee is burnt out and to understand the possible reasons why they are feeling that way.
Only after that can you implement measures to prevent future employee burnout and increase productivity.
How to Spot Employee Burnout?
Here are some of the signs of employee burnout you should watch out for:
- The employee is no longer interested in activities they used to find enjoyable or stops socializing with their colleagues.
- A previously punctual employee often comes in late or fails to show up at work.
- An employee might experience chest pains, headaches, or nausea caused by exhaustion.
- When an employee’s productivity levels start to decrease drastically.
- When an employee cannot focus on a task and continuously complains of tiredness.
What Causes Employee Burnout?
Here are some possible causes of employee burnout:
Work-life imbalance – when your employees barely have time to spend with their friends and family because of their work, they might get more tired and stressed than usual.
Lack of control and social support – employees who have no control over the decisions influencing their jobs and who are not supported by their peers tend to get more burned out easily
Monotonous or Chaotic Job – when the job you give your employees is either repetitive or disorderly, the work will weigh heavily on their mental health and cause them stress.
Dysfunctional Workplace Dynamics – sometimes, your employees will be more fatigued because of the bully-like treatment they receive from their colleagues and superiors.
8 Tips to Avoid Employee Burnout and Increase Productivity
1. Promote Work/Life Balance
A work-life balance is when employees dedicate equal time between their job and life outside the office. This not only makes them well-rounded people but also reduces their stress levels and increases their productivity.
As a manager, you should provide an environment where the employees can have an excellent work-life balance. Some of the ways you can promote a work-life balance in your organization are:
- Offering flexible working schedules that are personalized to an individual employee
- Shutting down early on weekends or during holidays so that the employees can spend time with their friends and families
- Give your employees vacation days where they can recharge
2. Monitor Workloads and Scheduling
One of the leading causes of employee burnout is excess, unreasonable workload, or a tight schedule that barely allows them free time. It is understandable for the workload to spike sometimes, but when it happens consistently, and your employees might get chronically exhausted when it happens consistently.
As a leader, you need to monitor the workload your employees are given. If the work is too much or if it’s beyond their professional experience, you should re-assign or redistribute the load.
You also need to check their schedules and ensure they do not demand too much time from them.
3. Emphasize Physical and Mental Health
Good physical and mental health go a long way in ensuring that your employees do not get stressed quickly. Investing in their wellness should therefore be a priority.
Some of the activities you can do to promote the physical and mental health of your employees include::
- Offering a quiet and serene space where the employees can meditate and unplug from their strenuous work.
- Offering discount gym memberships to promote physical wellness
- Having a mental awareness day to promote mental wellness
4. Encourage Working Smarter, not Harder
Because an overload of work mainly causes burnout, you should encourage your employees to work smarter, not harder.
If there is manual work that could be done more efficiently using technology, you should implement the technology and motivate them to make use of it. This would not only reduce burnout but will also save on time and costs.
5. Promote Vacation Time
Most organizations assign vacation time, where the employees can take several days or weeks away from work and recuperate. However, some employees are reluctant to take vacation time because of the heavy workload or the fear that they might be replaced.
If you notice that your employees have not used their vacation time, you should encourage them to take it. It might help them reduce work-related stress and be more productive.
6. Offer Flexible and Remote Working Options
Working from home was made popular during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it is not entirely a new idea. Long before the pandemic, organizations offered remote working options for employees who could manage to do their work in the comfort of their homes.
This reduces work-related stress and shows your employees that you trust them, and they will be more productive.
7. Offer Employee Assistance Programs
Employee burnout is not caused entirely by work overload. Sometimes, employees can be stressed because of financial mismanagement or their home life.
As a leader, you should offer employee assistance programs that can ease the burden your employees are going through. The programs provide a material guide on managing their lifestyle, whether it is financial, a retirement plan, or family-related.
8. Train Managers
More than the workload, the managers contribute a lot to how well the employees are doing. If the manager is not great at his job and continuously harasses the employees, they will not be willing to do the work, or they might get burned out quickly.
Before you hire a manager or a team leader, you should make sure that you train them on how to deal with employees efficiently.
Employee burnout is becoming increasingly common, but you can avoid it by valuing the time and effort your employees are putting in. As a leader in your organization, you should do all you can to avoid burnout in the workplace.
Joining a community like Biz-Buzz that collaborates with decision-makers to help shape a brighter future is an excellent place to start. With the lessons from Biz-Buzz, you will not only manage to create a healthy working environment, but you will also increase business productivity.
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