It’s often said that a company is only as successful as the employees who work there, and that’s completely true. But it's important to keep in mind that employee burnout will help employees to be satisfied with their work conditions. No matter the scale of your business or the industry you operate in, employee burnout can severely impact your company’s productivity, retention, and reputation.
According to Forbes, 96% of employees believe that showing empathy is an important part of advancing retention and employee satisfaction. However, 61% of employees stated that they are burned out on the job, with 31% facing extremely high levels of stress at work. This has an impact on employees’ productivity, morale, and subsequently – their decision to leave the company due to personal health issues.
It’s true that a company needs to make a profit in order to stay afloat. It’s also true that a company would not exist without said employees there to turn the wheels and make the proverbial machine work day-in, day-out. What can you do to avoid employee burnout in today’s environment? Let’s talk about it in greater detail to see what can be done for the benefit of both the company and its employees.
Why a Healthy, Burnout-Free Working Environment Matters
Before we discuss employee burnout prevention methods, let’s address why you should care about applying them. As we all know, burnout can have severe effects on an individual. From psychological breakdowns, chronic tiredness, lapses in judgment, to high stress and anxiety – these are the results of too much work on one’s shoulders. Excessive work-related stress is the underlying cause of 120,000 deaths in the US annually. It can be difficult to humanize office coworkers and be mindful of their wellbeing with pressing deadlines, high management standards, and even greater client expectations. However, avoiding the topic of employee burnout will only bring the issue to the forefront more quickly.
According to Tech Jury, only 25% of employers have an active employee engagement strategy in place. As a result, 75% of employees willingly leave their jobs due to poor management and lack of consideration for their wellbeing. Things can turn for the better at any moment if you start to pay close attention to how your employees respond to new obligations. Establishing new engagement strategies and emerging technologies to prevent employee burnout in your company will lead to drastic improvements in your internal culture, such as:
- Improved brand reputation and word of mouth for future employees
- Better morale, teamwork, and understanding among coworkers
- Increased end-product quality and higher client satisfaction
- Higher employee retention with voluntary advancement candidates
- The lowered margin for error due to stress and anxiety
5 Ways to Mitigate Employee Burnout and Enable a Healthier Working Environment
1. Individual Employee Personalization
Depending on the industry you operate in, you may be encouraged to fit every employee into the same box. However, no two people are alike. Whether you employ call center operators, designers, or IT specialists, each individual has different values, goals, and passions, which make them human. Trying to push the same form of workflow, job expectations, and tempo will undoubtedly lead to burnout and loss of employee interests.
To avoid this, business owners and managers should take the time to screen each new employee in the form of a personalized interview. This discussion can be semi-formal and centered on who they are, their 5/10-year plans, preferred methods of working, etc. Being upfront and proactive about your employees’ workflow will showcase that you value individuals as people, not as serial numbers – sometimes, it’s all that matters.
2. Emphasize your Concerns About Burnout
As unlikely as it may sound, many employees might not be aware that they are “burnt out” on their job. Workaholics, junior employees, and fresh graduates are often unaware of what constitutes optimal workflow and engagement on the job.
They are at risk of severe health problems, which can cause them not only to leave the job but also to face burnout consequences for years. As such, you should make it a habit to introduce burnout-reduction methods to employees periodically, such as team building activities, semi-formal seminars, casual lunch breaks, employee surveys, etc. Not every sentence spoken on the job has to be job-related. Take time to express concerns over employee burnout, and your coworkers will be thankful.
What is more, it’s essential to make your team delegate responsibilities. Encourage your employees to use different software, tools, and services to ease their work process.
3. Facilitate a Remote Workflow
If an employee becomes unsettled and restless on the job, you can facilitate their remote work engagement for a foreseeable time. This is a great alternative to losing a valuable employee, as platforms such as OnTheClock allow for immense flexibility with remote work management and tracking hours worked. Be on the lookout for employees who express stress over daily commute, office space, and working conditions and have remote work available as an alternative.
Jessica Avery, Writer and Proofreader, said that: “All of us feel worn out from time to time. However, only team leaders and managers have the ability to act and enable employees to “take a break” and take care of themselves. Thus, individuals with the power to contribute to the elimination of work-related burnout should absolutely act when they notice unspoken dissatisfaction or disengagement from coworkers.”
4. Software Solutions to Prevent Employee Burnout
Many companies have resorted to employee time tracking solutions to help prevent employee burnout in the workplace. Time tracking shows an employee how many hours are being worked and the amount of time that needs to be worked further.
Employees are able to keep track of their progress and manage their time properly without overworking and being overwhelmed emotionally. It motivates employees by giving them a sense of having control of their time and improving their weekly schedule.
By implementing a feedback method allows teams of coworkers to offer each person their feedback. This method can help coworkers grow closer and establish bonds over common work issues, which can lead to reduced stress, burnout, and turnover.
A great feedback solution will positively affect your employees’ self-awareness and build their confidence to share their thoughts with coworkers. It can significantly reduce your turnover and help employees identify with their projects and company culture as a whole. Most importantly, it will help you, as a manager, identify what each employee likes and dislikes, as well as where their professional interests may be.
5. Create a Relaxing and Fun Environment
Happiness is often found in the smallest things, such as a candy bar, a pinball machine, or a cold glass of lemonade. Depending on your company’s scale and resources, it might be a good idea to create a room designed for relaxing or having fun. A small fun room will allow employees to relax by playing darts or sifting through books for 10-15 minutes at a time.
You can go a step further and let the employees come up with a wish list of things for the fun room. This would give everyone a sense of ownership over the space, further elevating its appeal. Such an addition to your workspace will drastically improve everyone’s mood and promote communication, positive thoughts, and, most importantly – lead to far less potential burnout.
Listen to Your Employees
Lastly, it cannot be overstated how important it is to simply “listen” to what your employees have to say. Burnout is an extreme risk, both for the individual and the company which pushed them to such a point. In order to avoid such scenarios as much as possible, set up a feedback channel with your HR manager and let employees use it.
Your employees will often have interesting ideas on how to improve the work environment or productivity with different tools, software solutions, or activities – be sure to listen closely. Don’t hesitate to implement such ideas and gauge everyone’s interest in new additions to the workflow. By doing so, it will elevate your company culture considerably.
Act Rather Than React
You can make a logical assumption that an individual doesn’t want to work themselves to exhaustion just to meet an arbitrary quota – so why wait? Don’t wait to come to the point in which employees exhibit falls in motivation, productivity, and willingness to come to work every day.
Simple solutions, such as employee time tracking, which emphasize individual productivity rather than micromanagement, will definitely lead to less burnout and better retention going forward. Act on your instinct and make sure that burnout is nothing more than a myth in your company.
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