5 Ways Executives Can Reduce and Prevent Employee Burnout in the Workplace
In today's fast-paced and highly competitive business environment, employee burnout is a significant issue. Burnout affects employees' mental and physical health, and in turn, the productivity and profitability of organizations. For leaders in large innovative companies, it's crucial to learn how to recognize the signs of employee burnout and put strategies in place to fight it.
Maybe you already know you have burnout festering in your ranks. Maybe you’re not sure, but given employee burnout statistics, you know there’s a fair chance.
Here are some of the most effective ways to create a supportive, human-centric work environment and nip burnout in the bud.
Nine Ways to Beat Employee Burnout
Create a Positive Work Culture
A positive work culture that emphasizes collaboration, recognition, and open communication is essential to preventing employee burnout — and has the bonus effect of promoting innovation throughout the organization. Leaders can encourage employees to share their thoughts and ideas, promote team-building activities, and recognize and reward employees for their achievements. When employees feel valued, supported, and motivated, they are most likely to thrive.
Support Employee Wellness
Establishing a culture centered around wellness encourages employees to live healthier lives. Companies can offer wellness programs that include fitness classes, meditation sessions, counseling services, mental health days, and nutrition education to help employees improve their physical and mental health.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Providing flexible work arrangements, encouraging employees to take breaks and vacations, and offering wellness programs are effective ways to help employees achieve work-life balance. When employees are able to balance their work and personal life, making time for family, hobbies, and decompressing, they are more likely to be engaged and productive at work.
Coach Managers On How To Deal With Burnout
As you most likely don’t have direct day to day contact with most of your employees, you’ll need to teach your managers how to deal with burnout in their own teams. To do this, you need to start by adequately training your management team. These people have some of the biggest influence over employee morale and retention at your company and proper training makes all the difference.
For example, a 2018 study conducted by Randstad found that “58 percent of workers say that they’d stay at jobs with lower salaries if that meant working for a great boss.” By properly training your managers on how to effectively manage their teams while encouraging all aspects of wellness, you’ll be able to deal with burnout before it becomes an issue.
Provide Flexible Work Options
Adopting a work-from-home policy may not work for every company, but for many, it can be a great way to allow employees to recharge at home while still completing assignments. You can always start with a one or two-day-a-week policy to see how your company functions while at home and then increase or decrease the allotment based on the performance metrics you are looking to hit.
Flexible schedule options - even simple things like letting employees adjust their daily schedule by an hour or two, or take breaks to pick up their kids - allow employees to manage their time effectively to cover both work and home responsibilities.
Create Fair Workloads
An employee with an insurmountable workload feels like they’re stuck in a hole they can’t get out of. So they put in longer hours and feel even more exhausted. Eventually they leave the company, because it’s the only way they feel they can stop the stress.
Don’t let this happen. Monitor employee workloads regularly, prioritize tasks, set realistic deadlines, and provide the necessary resources to help employees manage their workload effectively.
Provide Opportunities For Professional Growth
Employees are more likely to be enthusiastic and engaged if they can see a future in what they’re doing. So offering training and development programs is a good way to not only keep your team’s skills up to date, but also to keep them motivated with forward career momentum.
Have Some Fun
Giving your employees events to look forward to throughout the year can keep them motivated to get through the toughest days, but those events have to be worthwhile. Things like box seats at a golfing event or a company-wide go-karting day will allow your employees to interact with their coworkers outside of the workplace while also reinforcing what your company is all about. Events like these will be something your employees talk about year after year and may even get them to forgive a few long days of work.
Lead by Example
As a leader, take the initiative to model healthy work habits, take time to connect with your team, and show genuine concern for their well-being. Prioritize your own well-being and demonstrate a commitment to creating a healthy work environment so that employees will follow suit.
Preventing Employee Burnout
Addressing burnout, especially via prevention, is an ongoing process that requires commitment and dedication. By creating a positive work culture, supporting employee wellness, encouraging work-life balance, coaching managers, providing flexible work options, creating fair workloads, offering professional growth, incorporating fun into the workplace, and leading by example, executives can reduce the causes of burnout and create a workplace that is engaging, productive, and profitable. Break the burnout cycle and create a culture of resilience, innovation, and growth.
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