Burnout is a common problem in offices around the world as employees feel pressured to meet constant deadlines and constantly push themselves to be more productive. Here are some great ways you can take care of your employees and make sure they’re doing their best work, while remaining happy and healthy for a better workplace environment.
Has a typically stellar worker suddenly turned negative and unproductive? If so, then he or she could be experiencing burnout, an increasingly prevalent issue among employees. So what is burnout, exactly, and how can you help an employee suffering from it?
What does burnout mean?
The Psychology Today article, “The Burnout Signs Tell Tale… Do You Have Them?”, by Sherrie Bourg Carter states that when an individual is in a state of chronic stress, burnout occurs. As well as emotional and physical exhaustion, it causes detachment and cynicism. It can also make the worker feel ineffective and incapable of achieving anything. Burnout can lead to severe physical and mental health issues when left unaddressed.
Remember that while high performers are more likely to burnout, it can happen to everyone, so be mindful of symptoms within your entire team at all times. Symptoms include a lack of concentration, increased anxiety, depression, and less job satisfaction, all contributing to a loss of productivity and efficiency.
How to support workers suffering from burnout
In recent years, steps have been taken by workplaces to ensure that employees are given better quality working conditions. Ergonomics has made burnout a less common workplace issue with employees; thanks to staple office features such as ergonomic chairs and smart desks. However, there are still factors involved in every office-based job that can contribute to employees feeling tired, overwhelmed and unproductive.
Luckily, you are able help the workers get back on track again. Here are several steps you should make to take action.
- Open up a conversation about it. To clarify what’s going on, schedule a meeting with the employee. Reduce the burden of the employee by making it clear that he or she is not being reprimanded and you are seeking to help instead. You could open up with something like, “I’ve noticed that lately you seem pretty stressed, and I’d like to have a conversation about how we can deal with that together.”
- Inspire a healthier working and personal life balance. Oftentimes, a combination of too much work-related stress and too little rest and relaxation induces burnout. In order to perform well, demonstrate to your employee that rest is a must and decide how he or she can achieve a better work-life balance. Recommend some down time if necessary and/or reduce the workload for a while. Talking about things like flexible hours and alternate working days, if those are options for your company, is also a good idea.
- Implement an ergonomic workplace environment. Workers in 2021 deserve the kind of place to work in that is good for their health and allows them to flourish productively. Workers are more likely to be burnt out when they are working from out-of-date office chairs that don’t provide the proper back support or flexibility for their postures. Some workers work better whilst being active, meaning that they could benefit from standing desks or ergonomic stools. Not only does an ergonomic space boost productivity in workers but it also makes them happier and less likely to be fatigued during the working day.
- Identify what the worker is driven by. As Dr. David G. Javitch advises, you should determine motivators that can make the employee feel as though he or she has achieved something. That can be anything from completing a particular task to beginning a new project to taking advantage of opportunities for development, as long as it provides a sense of accomplishment.
- Encourage workers to enjoy a change of scenery. Working in the same space for long periods of time can be exhausting. Sometimes, merely stepping outside of the workplace for a short period of time can be refreshing and reenergizing. Try reminding employees to get some fresh air, offer to have lunch with them in a local park or cafe nearby. If it’s possible, encourage some remote work during the week so that employees can mix-up their routine and don’t feel totally bound to one working space.
- Furnish help. Be sure that your worker has the right resources and assistance to achieve his or her goals. Additionally, to see how he or she is doing, check in periodically. This can help the employee feel supported, and it will play an important role in his or her rehabilitation from burnout.
Be ready to be there
Identifying that your employees are experiencing burnout is important, but there are ways to prevent it from even happening in the first place. After the sudden changes in workplace environments in 2020, it’s more important now than ever before to check-in with employees regularly and monitor their workplace happiness. Ergonomic working environments are ideal for maintaining this and ensuring that employees are given as good a chance possible to show their potential at work and are not hindered by the conditions they work in.
A healthy relationship between a manager and their employees is essential for the overall productivity of a company. By opening up a dialogue and discussing any underlying issues that an employee may be having, you are directly showing the employee that you are there and understand the stresses that can come with their job.
It is a vital skill to know how to help your workers heal from burnout and one that will better you as a manager. It can lead to retaining more talents, expertise, and ability in-house when you know how to keep talent even through tough times. All of this will help not only your staff and your company, but also your own career, in the long run.