Employee burnout is a state of long-term stress that causes tiredness, irritation, and a pessimistic attitude, all of which harm an employee’s personal and professional lives. Here are some important statistics on employee burnout that Deloitte has confirmed in a recent survey:
- 87% of employees reported that they’re passionate about their work, but 64% said they’re frequently stressed
- 91% of employees have an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration that negatively impacts the quality of their work
- 84% of millennial workers have experienced burnout at their current job
- 83% reported that workplace burnout negatively impacts their relationships
- 70% feel their employers aren’t doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout
- Nearly 50% have left a job due to being burnt out
In a previous article, we learned about spotting signs of employees experiencing burnout. This time, let us dive into the actions you can take to prevent the effects of burnout from spiralling further.
1. Be Supportive & Empathetic
First and foremost, you must fully comprehend the motive for your employee’s unusual behaviour. If there is a recent shift in attitude or performance, it could be due to various factors—overwhelming work, favouritism, misaligned values, lack of workplace community, insufficient resources, etc. They could be coping with a personal crisis, a sickness, or other complications that might seep into their professional life. It gets even harder to tell in hybrid and remote work environments.
Try to communicate with employees to pinpoint which components of their jobs are causing them stress. Then assist them in obtaining the assistance they require to combat burnout. If they do not immediately open up, try to ask them questions related to the possibilities of burnout without sounding like an intervention.
“How many tasks are you juggling at the moment?”
“Are you struggling with the workload?”
“I noticed that you have not been as focused as you usually were. Are you facing any difficulties at work or home?”
Exercise empathy and provide all the resources and training necessary to help alleviate the weight on their shoulders. Rather than turning the spotlight over depreciating performance, it’s more important to understand employees’ plight so they feel valued as a professional, as well as human beings. It’s critical to remind them that the situation isn’t hopeless.
Above all, ensure your staff that they will not be reprimanded if they disclose thoughts of exhaustion. If your team is afraid of being disciplined or fired for discussing burnout symptoms, the side effects and blunders will only become worse, costing your company a lot of money.
2. Revise & Distribute Workload
Employees with too much work to clear will do whatever it takes to finish the job, even if it means working well beyond sundown, on weekends, or through lunch. While it’s commonly (and wrongly) believed that working long hours denotes an exemplary work ethic, it can rapidly lead to desperation, tiredness, and dissatisfaction—all indicators of burnout.
Instead of expecting the worst, managers should re-evaluate employees’ workload. Many employees avoid taking leaves (or PTO) because the cost isn’t worth the piled-on responsibilities they’ll face when they return. So, if you realise your employee is battling burnout, work together to design tactical strategies to reverse this behaviour. Eg: establish a cutoff time to turn off their work-related devices during lunch breaks or after work hours.
Burnout is frequently addressed by management providing staff with incentives in the hopes of re-engaging them. Keep in mind that band-aid solutions do more harm than good because the underlying issue is never addressed, and the employee will eventually leave.
It’s impossible to change employees’ behaviour overnight. Still, by being honest and adjusting your expectations, you’ll remove some of the pressure—and they’ll feel better about scheduling time for activities other than work.
3. Spice Up The Routine
One of the most effective tactics for keeping employees’ attention stimulated is to ensure that each team member’s workload is diverse. Let’s say you have a burned-out senior who is consistently assigned the most demanding clients. That’s a sign to swap a couple of the big clients to someone with less experience. Your junior staff will have the opportunity to learn what it’s like to handle more challenging requests, while your senior representative will be able to loosen up a little.
Shuffle the types of projects you assign, like giving a creative assignment to employees who spend most of their days examining pages of words and figures. However, make sure you include your employees in these discussions to assign duties that will thrill them rather than implying greater stress!
Understand that burnout isn’t always something that will go away on its own. Employees will often find increased energy and enthusiasm for their work with little adjustment in their daily routine. It’s your role as a manager to intervene and assist them in regaining control.
You can both breathe a sigh of relief since they’ll be happier and more productive with a refreshed commitment towards their work.
Be The Leader Your Employees Deserve
It takes time to re-engage burnt-out employees. That’s why HR leaders should play a strategic role in helping managers provide the correct kind of treatment to help the person go back to their previous productivity and engagement levels.
Outsource your HR administration tasks to TG so you can refocus on prioritising your employees’ needs.
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