8 Impactful Ways to Avoid Employee Burnout
As Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, begins this week, it’s hard not to think about the lights of your own office—your employees. Most people are familiar with the story of Hanukkah: the Maccabees lit a menorah in the Holy Temple, and oil that was supposed to last only one day burned for eight whole days and nights. If one day’s worth of olive oil can burn for eight days, surely you can help your employees avoid burning out too.
Employee burnout is a huge issue for many companies, and a major reason why talented workers leave. So this year, rededicate yourself to your employees’ well-being and check out these eight ways you can help avoid employee burnout:
Learn to spot it
As a leader, learning to recognize the signs of burnout is key to preventing it. Burnout is an intense state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with lack of confidence in your competency or value at work. Signs of burnout include: lack of motivation, cynicism, frustration, impatience, disillusionment, change in eating or sleeping habits, and cognitive problems. HR Tip: Using the right HR software can help you track your employees’ attendance and sick days to spot any worrisome patterns.
- Check in frequently with your team
If you notice signs of burnout in one of your employees, immediately schedule a 1 on 1 meeting to discuss it. Lend a listening ear; make sure they feel heard and acknowledged, and work to identify the possible causes. Meeting regularly with your employees will help prevent burnout, too.
- Look for the causes
It’s impossible to eliminate a problem without knowing what caused it. There is no definitive set of motivators for employee burnout (although there are a few common causes), so it’s important to identify motivators in each individual case of burnout, both current and past. This will not only help you solve the cases of burnout you have on hand now, but also help you prevent future cases.
- Don’t overload your employees
This might seem like the most simple solution to avoiding burnout, but it’s also necessary—and often the thing most in your control. Unloading responsibility on your employees can often position them for growth, but left unmanaged, it can also increase their chances of burnout if the weight becomes too heavy for them to carry on their own. And if your best workers burn out, their overall performance will begin to suffer, or even worse, they may choose to leave your company for greener pastures. As a leader, try to spread duties out as evenly as you can and monitor how your employees react to new added responsibilities.
- Let your team get creative
Flexing your creative muscles helps you maintain the necessary mental fitness to keep up in the workplace. Try setting aside time for employees to work on creative side projects, or even allowing them a little more creative freedom in their current projects. Either way, making sure your employees continue to exercise creativity will keep their mind sharp, keep them engaged, and increase their motivation.
- Emphasize wellness
Maintaining physical wellness in the workplace is absolutely essential to preventing burnout. Try establishing health initiatives like offering discount gym memberships or having a different fitness class in the office every Thursday. You should also take steps to ensure your office is the healthiest environment possible. Physical illness will only make burnout worse.
Focus on scheduling
No, this doesn’t mean stick to the antiquated 9-5 schedule. Managing employee attendance is huge for preventing burnout. Luckily, the right HR system can help you track attendance with ease. Look for employees not taking their vacation time, working too many hours, or frequently missing work. These are all signs of impending burnout.
Recognize top performers
If your employees are engaged, they won’t burn out. And one of the best ways to increase engagement is to provide individual recognition. Keep track of top performers and recognize your employees for their good work—by giving them frequent, comprehensive feedback, you can help your employees discover their true impact at your organization and help them identify and achieve future goals.
Effectively helping your team avoid burnout can seem overwhelming without a solid process or tools in place. But, with the right HR system, you can focus on invest your time most wisely on your people, your purpose, and the growth of your business.
Check out our latest eBook for tips on how choosing the right HR system can support your strategic initiatives, and to discover the right solution for your needs.
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