Employee burnout is a serious issue at multiple levels. Above all, this term means that the employees have faced too much stress or too many other factors at work; they cannot function in their regular capacity as a result. Employee burnout also, of course, has negative results for the company. If the employees are all exhausted and stressed out, then the quality of the company’s products and services is likely to decline. Fortunately, human resources and management can work together to prevent burnout from occurring.
1. Sick, Vacation and Personal Days
Work burnout has warning signs, and if you notice that your employees are constantly sick, you may be starting to see one of the signs. You may wonder why people come to work when they are sick and bring their germs with them. Part of the problem is that not everyone can afford to take unpaid sick days. Furthermore, you may not offer enough sick days so employees feel as though they must use them with extreme caution.
In addition to offering sick days, you should also provide ample vacation and personal days. Imagine that you had to work consistently without ever taking a break for years; chances are that you would begin to burnout too. While you do not want employees to take advantage of time off, you also want to provide them with enough time to recover from illness and unwind.
2. Work-related Stress
Work-related stress is one of the leading causes of burnout. Stress at work is another major problem, and it can have a number of causes. The demands of the job are one of them. While you do not want to start to lose money, you also must take into consideration what employees can reasonably accomplish in a day. If you are finding that they are consistently behind on your work, you may need to hire other people to help deal with the load.
Employees can also deal with stress because they are afraid of the workplace. Whether they are harassed or bullied by other employees or they feel that the workplace is an unsafe environment, these issues can take a major toll on their state of mind. Creating policies that prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination and enforcing them are necessary. As far as safety, you can consider distributing a survey to your employees, asking them what they feel is unsafe. Then, you can begin to address the issues.
3. Reasonable Work Schedules
Imagine that you never could take a few minutes away from your desk without worrying that you would lose pay. Some employees go to work every day with that burden on their shoulders. While you do not want employees who are taking breaks all throughout the day, you should provide reasonable breaks depending upon the duration of time that people work. Also, consider offering employees a paid lunch break. Even if you are able to permit only 30 minutes to eat lunch, at least you are giving your workers time to recharge.
Your company may generally run from Monday through Friday. However, on certain weeks, you might need to ask a small team to come in on a Saturday or Sunday. Keep in mind that if these days are not part of the expected work schedule, you may get some resistance and increase stress in the employees. Furthermore, if you do not compensate with some time off during the week, you may very well end up with employees who are stressed and burnt out.
4. Create a Healthy Environment
When you barely give employees time to have a snack or eat lunch without losing pay, you are probably encourage them to quickly consume their meals or to run to a fast food place to pick up some cuisine. While you do not need to provide only healthy food all of the time, make it a priority. Putting some fruit, vegetables, cheese or yogurt in the break room is a good idea, and ordering out breakfast or lunch from places where employees have a myriad of options works well. You don’t have to do it all of the time, but doing so once in awhile promotes health and morale. You may want to offer employees a reduced price gym membership at a nearby facility as well.
Take steps to promote the mental well-being of your employees too. They should feel safe expressing their concerns about stress and burnout to you. For example, you may want to start providing services for counselling for work related stress. By doing so, employees know that they can open up about their struggles and receive guidance and assistance.
Employee burnout is a serious problem. When your employees are placed in this type of environment, they can begin to feel sick and tired all of the time, and you will likely notice that your business as a whole is suffering.