Over the past decade, workplace stress and associated burnout have become increasingly common concerns. Research has shown that 83% of employees suffer from work-related stress.
As a result, U.S. businesses lose up to $300 billion annually. Diligent employers are trying to understand this growing phenomenon and help their team members attain the right work-life balance to remain productive without succumbing to burnout.
If you want to learn more about stress-related burnout and find ways to prevent it, here’s what you need to know.
Why Employees Are Burning Out?
In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially listed burnout in its Classification of Diseases.
Burnout is a condition represented by a physical or emotional state of exhaustion, sometimes following a sense of failure, reduced accomplishment, or loss of personal identity.
Recent reports indicate that 13% of workers have a difficult time unwinding once they’re off the clock. With smart devices and the constant connection to technology, employees are not only feeling stressed out at work, but they are carrying it home with them. This can create a continual, low-simmering feeling of anxiety, which can eventually become overwhelming and lead to burnout.
Employees struggling with burnout often experience more frequent absences, tardiness, turnover, and illness.
Signs That Your Office Is Suffering From Workplace Burnout
A huge part of winning the battle against stress-related burnout is detecting it as early as possible. There are some common behaviours, attitudes, and other symptoms that can offer clues regarding your staff’s morale.
An employee may be suffering from burnout if he or she is:
- Experiencing reduced and/or worsening productivity.
- Increasingly and consistently late for work.
- Suddenly prone to moodiness, withdrawal and negative outbursts.
- Exhibiting flu-like symptoms, pains, and headaches.
- Calling in sick due to lethargy, despondence or low morale.
- Unexpectedly leaving the company for another opportunity.
Burnout is becoming a real problem for companies as more and more high-calibre workers are falling prey to this modern condition.
Perhaps with awareness and the right tools, you can help your employees maintain a work-life balance that stops burnout in its tracks.
What Can You Do?
Today’s candidates do their homework before applying to a company. They want to know as much as possible about the culture, and often, work-life balance takes center stage.
An employer who remains attuned to their employees’ well-being is more likely to enjoy a solid reputation in their respective industries.
Workers have become increasingly aware of the potential for burnout. As employers ask more of their personnel, there is always the possibility of pushing someone too far. Modern business owners must recognize this condition and work hard to prevent it.
Here are five tips you can use to prevent employee burnout in your organization:
1. Improve Your Job Descriptions
One source of stress for modern employees is working in a job that doesn’t match their capabilities. Whether the person lacks the core skills or he or she feels overwhelmed by the volume of work, a bad fit can lead to burnout quickly.
Before hiring someone, make sure that your HR team and the hiring manager create a detailed job description that informs the candidate of the duties and expectations they’ll see upon accepting the position.
The description should indicate the degree to which the prospective hire will work alone or with a team. It’s also a good idea to include policies on working at night and on the weekends, and anything else that relates to day-to-day activities.
2. Provide Regular Training
Help employees thrive with an array of training sessions that optimize their performance and increase their chances of advancement. With today’s technology, the nature of certain positions can transform quickly and regularly. Make sure your staff is up to speed on the latest software and other technological considerations regarding their work.
By following this simple step, you can instil confidence in your employees, knowing that they have the knowledge and skills to perform their job efficiently.
Additional training on company policies and procedures can also help new team members feel connected to the organization, allowing them to take on a feeling of responsibility and investment.
3. Offer Fitness Opportunities
Some 14% of people use regular exercise as a way to cope with stress. Physical activity helps the body fight disease and other ailments while also helping maintain good mental fitness. Here are a few benefits of exercise in reducing burnout:
- Reduces fatigue.
- Improves alertness and concentration.
- Enhances overall cognitive function.
Even if you own a startup, you can encourage employees to strive for better health and fitness. Promote lunchtime walks, offer on-site yoga classes in an available space or create a small workout area with a few pieces of key equipment.
Additionally, you could invest in gym memberships for all personnel. If you have the bandwidth to install a larger gym, you may see greater results in a work-life balance that staves off burnout.
4. Extend Support for Employees
People struggle for a variety of reasons, and you must offer staff members an opportunity to address any feelings of inadequacy, stress or impending burnout. Create a confidential open-door policy to encourage open communication.
Consider creating an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to fit with your organization. You might be surprised how an open mindset can increase morale.
5. Promote Engagement
It is too easy for modern workers to come in, silently sit down at their desks and immediately immerse themselves in their work. Instead, encourage active engagement among co-workers and managers.
Promote collaboration and teamwork where possible. Offer employees positive feedback and constructive recommendations to help them thrive.
Become a Proactive Employer
Let current employees and candidates know that you mean business when it comes to creating work-life balance in your organization. Take these ideas — and add some of your own — to help prevent workplace burnout.