Burnout has negative effects on both employees and the company they work for and can be a huge problem. Burnout affects productivity and morale and isn’t good for your staff’s health, either. It’s also very common and isn’t only caused by heavy workloads or long hours. Given the right, or wrong, circumstances, burnout can affect anyone.
What steps can companies take to help prevent employee burnout?
Learn to Recognize Burnout
The first step in preventing burnout is to recognize when your employees have it. Any employee that exhibits a change from their normal behavior might be experiencing burnout. These changes can include irritability and frustration, increased tardiness or absences, poor quality work, lower productivity, and disengagement.
Burnout in one employee may seem like it’s not a company problem. However, a burned-out employee can more easily lose their temper with coworkers, transferring the stress. Burnout can also affect the employee’s health, causing them to take more time off or even raise health insurance premiums.
Talk to Your Employees
If you recognize the signs of burnout in an employee, it’s important to talk to them about it before taking any steps. Burnout isn’t the only possible cause of those symptoms. An employee might simply be having a hard time in their personal life and it’s starting to affect work. Even if they are burned out, it can be helpful to talk to them about it to find out what help they may need the most.
You can help prevent burnout from happening by having an open-door policy between employees and managers. If employees feel that they can approach their bosses whenever they have a problem or something they need to talk about, you might be able to help stop burnout before it starts.
Regular communication about goals and expectations is also important. Burnout can be caused by employees feeling that they have no control or that they don’t know what’s going on. If you keep them in the loop and communicate any changes to them immediately, that can eliminate a lot of the stress that can cause burnout.
Encourage Time Off
Encourage your employees to use up their vacation time. By taking regular breaks from work, they can prevent burnout from happening in the first place. This doesn’t just mean taking vacations. It can also mean ensuring employees get regular breaks throughout the day, don’t work too much overtime, and aren’t expected to take their work home with them.
With communication so much easier than ever before, it’s common for employees to be checking work emails from home. However, this can lead to burnout as it doesn’t give employees the time they need to not worry about work. Having a good work-life balance can help prevent problems at home that can also cause burnout.
Redistribute the Workload
If you have some employees who are feeling burnt out, their managers should check their workload. It may be tempting to put more work on your best employees than on others, but having an unfair workload is a recipe for burnout. This can also affect morale if your star employees feel they’re being punished for success.
If some employees are taking on more than their fair share of the workload, try to redistribute it in a more equitable manner. Your best employees won’t burn out and those who aren’t as productive will get more opportunities to learn and grow.