What is “Burnout?”
According to Psychology Today, burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, as well as feelings of ineffectiveness or lack of accomplishment. As cited in this 2018 Gallup report, roughly two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job. While some may view burnout as the norm in today’s workplace, it comes with many negative side effects for both employees and the organization. In the same Gallup report, it is explained that burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times more likely to look for a different job. For the employees that stay, they typically experience 13% lower confidence in their performance, and are half as likely set or discuss their performance goals with their manager.
Tips to Prevent Burnout
Overall, the above statistics show that it is necessary for employers to address burnout in the workplace. Listed below are steps from SHRM and Forbes that employers can take to help prevent employee burnout:
- Change of Scenery: If your organization can accommodate employees working remotely, even just a couple days a week, encourage employees to do so! A change of scenery helps remove employees from the environment that is fueling a burnout and positively impacts the body and creative mind.
- Expand Horizons: Encourage employees to spend time with employees who have different job titles or roles within the organization. This can be through team building events, luncheons, workout classes, team projects, or group volunteer efforts. When employees are around new groups of people, they begin learning about and discussing new topics. This helps take them out of their comfort zone, motivates them to be more mentally engaged, and helps boost their creativity.
- Mental Health Days: Be mindful of your employees mental health and encourage them to take mental health days when they need one. Having support from their manager can help alleviate employees’ apprehension over asking for time off and any fear they have about not being perceived as a team player. For more information on addressing mental health in the workplace, click here.
- Promote Work/Life Balance: The best way to promote work/life balance is to lead by example. Do not work overtime unless absolutely necessary, take your allotted vacation time every year, close the office early on or the day before holidays, practice mindfulness, and encourage all your employees to do the same!
- Monitor Workloads: Cleary communicate performance goals with employees and distribute workloads and responsibilities fairly. When assigning tasks, keep employees’ strengths and weakness in mind. Appropriately distributing work and setting employees up for success is one of the best ways to maintain performance and prevent burnout!
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