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At some point, all businesses must deal with employee burnout. Exhaustion, lower productivity, lack of concentration, increased absenteeism, and an overall feeling of negativity at work may contribute to burnout. Burnout can happen to anyone at any point during their career, and it is often not a result of employees not enjoying their work. Unfortunately, burnout is the reason why many employees end up leaving their jobs.
Burnout can extend beyond work life and impact an employee’s personal life, happiness, and well-being. Reducing burnout is essential for employers because they want to prevent employees dealing with lower productivity or unhappiness on or off the job. This blog will discuss employee burnout and how to prevent it.
Simply put, employee burnout occurs when workers have extended exposure to stress. Burnout often feels like exhaustion and may include an inability to focus. Employees may find themselves completing less work, and their work might not be up to scratch. Because engaged employees care more about their jobs and the company, they might feel the effects of prolonged stress more than unengaged employees. Sadly, caring about their jobs is a double-edged sword, leading to increased exhaustion. As a manager, addressing the factors contributing to burnout is essential. Some causes of employee burnout are:
Employees can be stressed for many reasons. Human Resource professionals and employees must concentrate more on employee well-being, and managers must be aware of their employees’ stress and workload. By cultivating a culture that cares about employees’ physical and emotional health, workplaces can sometimes reduce and prevent burnout. It is not solely up to the employees to prevent burnout; it is the obligation of the employer to find ways to avoid burnout and reduce employee stress. For example, if an employee hasn’t taken any PTO all year, you should motivate them to take some time off to rest.
Below are a few ways to prevent burnout:
Stress at work, unfortunately, can’t always be prevented. For example, a fast-approaching deadline or lousy project management could mean employees have to work overtime. Most employees expect they will have to work overtime now and then, but they should not be expected to do so consistently without time to recover. Engaged employees will push themselves for their clients and the company, but if the stress is intense and their work-life balance is out of control, they can eventually reach burnout. After a big project, managers should adjust workloads to allow recovery time for those who spent extended hours at work.
Recovery time means different things, depending on the employee and the organization. For instance, giving staff extra time off for working overtime to make up for the time they lost at home, less work for the weeks following a big project to re-engage in other activities or perhaps automation that can help them manage their tasks faster and easier.
Still, it would be best if you didn’t rely on recovery time to prevent burnout. As previously mentioned, your employees should never be expected to push themselves daily under immense pressure. Instead, it is management’s responsibility to create realistic expectations and manage projects effectively. Managers should also keep an eye on their employees to know if someone is working too hard too often.
Employees appreciate a management team that offers an open-door policy, allowing them to talk about their problems when they feel stressed, overworked, or even burned out. Lastly, remember to respect employees’ time off. When an employee is on PTO, hold back on emails, messages, and other items until they return.
Many employers don’t care about their employees’ well-being and continue pushing them to the limit to make more money. However, employees understand that continuing to push themselves affects their mental health with no reward. Fostering a culture that leads to prolonged stress can result in high turnover rates. Also, companies that enable a high-stress culture spend more on training and hiring new employees due to higher turnover rates. Although any profession can lead to stress at some point, it is essential to implement action to help employees handle that stress so that they don’t end up burning out.
The key is focusing on employee well-being to help employees manage stress, prevent burnout, and foster a positive work culture. Take an employee at their word when they say they need to take time off or want to confide in their manager when seeking advice. A happy work environment will contribute to the growth of your company.
Having a purpose is crucial to business success. While most employees work hard to earn money, it’s a sense of purpose that keeps the best employees and top performers working hard. By helping all your employees connect to their purpose and feel like they are doing something significant within the workplace, you can prevent burnout.
Employees will contribute to the growth and success of your company, but in return, they expect the company they work for to contribute to their growth and development. For this reason, you should know what their individual goals are within the company. For example, do they aspire to move into management, or would they like to work in a different department? By offering them the resources and opportunities to achieve their goals, you will help them get on the path to their future professional careers.
It is important to remember that your employees have lives outside of the workplace. They spend at least eight hours a day at work, which can mean spending less time with their families or other commitments not related to work. Responsibilities outside of work can cause stress in the workplace, no matter what they are. At times, their minds may not even be on the task they’re working on at the office.
When workplace stress is combined with regular life stress, it can lead to burnout faster. Offering a flexible work environment and the option to work from home can help improve employees’ work-life balance.
Burnout doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and leads to lower productivity and decreased morale. However, employers and HR departments can work together to keep their employees happy and healthy to prevent employee burnout. Start small by giving a thank-you gift for work well done and then move forward together to facilitate long-term happiness with the company.