The working environment of the past 2 years has brought the concept of burnout to the forefront. Unexpected work-from-home situations, juggling the new normal, and mental fatigue have all contributed to the issue. Recognizing employee burnout and having a plan to address it will ensure you retain employees and keep your company healthy.
1. Ensure everyone takes their time off
In an attempt to appear as though they can handle it all, many people try to do too much. They neglect to take time off because they believe it will make them appear reliable and committed. The problem is, everyone needs time to recharge. Not taking it can actually affect productivity negatively. Set a reminder to check twice yearly to make sure that everyone has taken the time off that they’re entitled to. If they haven’t, give them a gentle reminder to do so.
2. Be generous with your policies
All workplaces have rules. Be on time, work a certain amount of hours, be reasonable with breaks. These rules keep things running smoothly, and they’re important. But don’t get uptight if someone is a few minutes late once in a while, or expresses an interest in working from home from time to time. Allowances like these often make little difference to the company as a whole, but they can make a colossal difference to an employee who just needs a little bit of grace now and then.
3. Offer extended benefits
Extended benefits plans for your employees are such great incentives to draw people to your company. They allow your employees to rest and recuperate in ways that they may not otherwise. Anything that can be done to contribute to the overall health of your people is a terrific bonus, and one all employers should provide.
4. Encourage work-life balance
The Internet has made it so that we are always available, which is very convenient. It’s also terribly demanding. Since many of us are now working from home at least sometimes, it’s increasingly difficult to leave work at work. Make sure your employees are crystal clear about taking time away from their job. Ignoring this divide and having your employees feel like they have to be “on” 24/7 is a very efficient way to ensure they reach burnout quickly.
5. Make use of performance metrics
Every role in your organization should have a clear set of expectations, and they should be defined so that it’s clear how your employees can meet or exceed them. Not knowing how they’re doing, or being unpleasantly surprised at a performance review, is a fast track to burnout. Make the job easier by outlining expectations and rewarding those who exceed them, and watch morale rise.
6. Allow side tasks
Yes, we were all hired to do a specific job, but there are different things that make each employee tick. Allowing side tasks that your employees find enjoyable and rewarding allows them to mix it up a bit and show off their passions and talents. It’s a great way for people to flex muscles they wouldn’t otherwise, and workers tend to bring extra drive and creativity to activities that interest them. It brings more joy to work, which adds to the overall health of the company.
7. Remember we’re all human
Nobody likes to feel like a cog in the machine. There are, of course, expectations to meet in every job. However, employers would do well to remember that every single person working for them has an entire life outside of the company. Anything could be going on behind closed doors. A company that understands, supports, and shows compassion to its employees is more likely to keep the good ones from burning out.
Happy, well-rested employees are more productive and loyal. It’s in your best interests to do what you can to combat employee burnout.