A thriving business needs a solid team of employees.
Businesses rely on their team and should be mindful of the possibility of burning out their employees.
Employee burnout elevates healthcare costs to companies and employee turnover rates.
As the common phrase goes, “it’s all about the customer.” Yes and no; as successful companies such as Wegmans have discovered. After multiple awards for “best place to work,” they’ve developed a different motto to nurture a positive work environment.
Taken from the mission statement from their website, this is the promise made to employees:
“At Wegmans, we believe that if we take care of you, you’ll take care of our customers. That’s why we offer more than benefits. We offer you total rewards. As part of the Wegmans family, you’ll have support for your health, your well-being, your family and your future.”
As it can be seen through this promise to employees, this leader takes the well-being of their employees seriously. It can be inferred this mentality has been attributed to their longtime success.
This is merely one example. However, the most successful companies in the world make a convincing point: taking care of your employees leads to a thriving business and, by default, provides customers with impeccable service.
Therefore, there’s a strong interest for companies to invest in the wellbeing of their employees.
What is Burnout?
Let’s start with the basics: what is burnout? What does it entail?
According to the World Health Organization, signs of burnout at work include people feeling:
- depleted or exhausted
- mentally distant from their job or negative feelings or cynicism about their job
- reduced professional efficacy. (NPR)
Employee burnout is an ongoing concern. It creates damaging morale, reduces productivity, and increases high staff turnover rates.
As a business, it’s in the CEO’s best interest to prevent burnout and implement strategies that can encourage, not discourage, employee morale and address the root causes of burnout.
Ways to Reduce Employee Burnout
There are several ways to reduce burnout while increasing productivity and not at the expense of your employees’ happiness or well-being.
We list several proven techniques to create a positive work environment without overwhelming your team.
Let’s explore a few of these options so you can discover what will work for your business and your team.
Provide Schedule Flexibility
While this recommendation might not be doable for every business, allowing for partial employee flexibility isa proven method to reduce instances of burnout.
Life is challenging, as we’ve witnessed through the global pivot of the COVID pandemic.
Providing flexibility can reduce burnout since employees can manage their personal needs without excessive stress from schedule restraints.
As an example, families faced a variety of changes in school regulations and childcare requirements during the pandemic. Businesses that work with their employees could reduce burnout by allowing flexibility.
With adequate management systems, it’s much easier to accommodate employees’ schedules without impeding on workflow and offering flexibility to reduce stress.
Offer Comprehensive Employee Training
Training employees is a cost, but so is burnout.
Burnout can be symptomatic of an employee lacking adequate initial training and support. Not having proper training can create stress amongst employees.
It can be not easy to ask or seek support. Therefore, it can create employee overload if they try to understand the job and learn as they go.
One of the best defenses against this type of learning overload is to provide remedial training.
Naturally, training is a cost to the company, but not as much as a high turnover rate from employees that feel a substantial lack of training, understanding, or support.
Whether you hire a permanent trainer or software to teach employees, provide a learning resource to help new employees understand their role without feeling alone or overwhelmed.
Training can be significant to maintaining a competent team and reducing burnout. Training can make an enormous difference in a positive employee experience.
Using a project management software can identify struggles amongst your employees and can help employers assign tasks and projects as they see fit. It also allows for employers to see areas that require additional training.
Encourage Vacation Time
Everyone needs a break to decompress. It’s one of the best defenses against burnout. We strongly support every business to offer some form of vacation time to provide a healthy work/life balance for their employees.
Employees especially need time off and time to relax from the consistent stressors of work mentally. That’s why it’s crucial to encourage the importance of vacation time and use the time provided.
Again, there is a cost to providing a benefit such as vacation time. If your company cannot financially support vacation time benefits, at least consider investing in days that are dedicated to an easy day for your employees. You can invest in a half day once a month or a fun activity to provide a mental break from the daily stressors of work.
Encouraging vacation time also fosters a healthy work/life balance mentality. Employees can take a break from work, have space, and return feeling refreshed.
Monitor Projects and tasks
As an employee, it can be not easy to stay on track with several projects under their care. Many employees work themselves into exhaustion until there’s a breaking point or it’s a cost to their health or quitting their job altogether.
One strategy to rectify these instances is full management oversight of projects and workload.
It’s crucial that management can look over each employee’s project/task workload and create realistic expectations.
One of the main reasons employees will experience burnout is having too many tasks to manage beyond their availability and even their means.
When management can monitor workflow effectively, tasks can be delegated efficiently without the cost of employee burnout.
Introduce Management Software
Many of the items already listed can benefit from Utilizing software that alleviates some of these pain points (monitor tasks and ).
Several suggestions might be resolved simply by introducing project management software.
The beauty of a project management system is it can help foster productivity and elevate upper management since it takes out the guesswork of project/tasks status.
Depending on the software, both managers and employees can monitor task and project status,, and stay on top of tasks.
Providing your team with software management tools can reduce symptoms of burnout within management and their employees since it’s an effortless way to stay on top of workflow.
Moving Away from Burnout
As we’ve seen, burnout isn’t just at the cost of the employee but also the employer. To thrive as a business, it’s crucial to be mindful of what creates burnout within the workforce and prevent it before it interrupts business.
Lots of these suggestions can be easily implemented into your work environment, if not all of them.
If you want to maintain a positive work environment and good staff morale, you do not want to lose sight of the importance of your team and their mental health.
With a few of these recommendations, you’re creating a work environment your employees will love, and as a business, you can be proud of.
WorkShiftly is a productivity management software meant to create a productive work environment for your team. Many of these recommendations can be resolved quickly with our platform.
Stop burnout before it starts.
Ready to try WorkShiftly’s demo? See how we can minimize employee burnout.