Employee burnout is quite common in the modern workplace. In our "get it done yesterday" world, many employees are pushed too hard in the name of company profits. But in the end, overworked team members aren't the only ones who lose. Research shows that the effects of employee burnout represent an estimated 125 billion to 190 billion in healthcare costs each year. And that's just in the United States!
In this blog post, we'll explain exactly what burnout is and give you five tips to prevent it at your place of work. Sound like a plan? Great, let's dive in!
Employee Burnout: A Definition
Let's start at the beginning and define what burnout is. According to the Mayo Clinic, employee burnout (AKA job burnout) is, "a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity."
As you can tell from this definition, burnout is more than just a high level of stress. While stress produces feelings of "too much," burnout is characterized by feelings of "not enough." Employees affected by this phenomenon often feel emotionally exhausted and may lose their sense of purpose and motivation.
There are many things that, left unchecked, could eventually lead to employee burnout. But a few of the main causes include unrealistic expectations, a lack of communication, and bad management.
How to Prevent Employee Burnout
Knowing what burnout is and actually avoiding it are two very different things. To prevent employee burnout at your place of work, follow these five tips.
1. Assign the Right Tasks
First, it's important for all employees to be assigned both the right tasks and the right amount of tasks. A sure-fire way to introduce employee burnout to your workplace is to give your team a mountain of work they hate doing and force them to complete it in an unrealistic amount of time.
Instead, be mindful of each employee's workload. Are you putting too much on any one staffer's shoulders? Also, do your best to match team member interests and skill sets with the duties you ask them to complete. Your team will work harder, be more productive, and have more joy at work when they're given the opportunity to accomplish tasks they're good at and enjoy.
2. Equip Your Team
Few things are as frustrating as being given a task by your boss and feeling like you aren't able to complete it. If your team experiences these feelings often, they'll eventually experience employee burnout as well.
Fortunately, there's a simple fix: equip your team to accomplish the work you set before them. Give them the proper tools, provide them with any necessary training materials, and make sure they have the resources at their disposal to achieve what you've asked of them.
3. Focus on Company Culture
A positive company culture will go a long way toward banishing employee burnout from your place of work. Do what you can to foster it! Make sure your team supports one another, both in the office and outside it. Encourage socializing between co-workers as company culture is built on relationships. And don't be afraid to get your staff outside the office to have fun together.
If you're able to build a fun working environment that your team enjoys being a part of every day, they'll be much less likely to experience employee burnout.
4. Allow Time to Rest
You may think that in order to get everything done, you need to ask your team to work more, not less. But this probably isn't the case. Studies show that overworked team members are actually less productive. They're also better candidates for employee burnout.
So do your team and your company a favour and promote rest. Allow your staff to take breaks throughout the day, give them a healthy lunch break, and encourage them to take a summer vacation. Also, refrain from asking them to complete work after hours if it can be avoided.
If you allow your team to rest, they'll be better workers, get more done, be more joyful, and be able to better avoid employee burnout.
5. Recognize Your Employees
Lastly, to prevent employee burnout, you need to recognize your team for their contributions. The kind of recognition you give will vary depending on your unique company and circumstances. But in general, make sure that your team is being recognized on a consistent basis, for specific jobs well done. Random, general praise is much less effective.
One of the best and easiest ways to consistently recognize your team in meaningful ways is to use a software tool like Kudos. Our platform makes the entire process incredibly simple. Request a demo and see for yourself today!
Employee burnout is a serious, widespread condition in modern workplaces. Fortunately, you now have the tools to prevent it. Follow the five tips listed above and your team will be much happier, healthier, and productive. Good luck!