Preventing Burnout Among Employees
Burnout is a serious problem that can affect all employees across a wide variety of sectors. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially added burnout to its international classification of diseases.
The WHO defines this issue as ‘a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. To put it simply, burnout may often occur when workers are overly stressed for an extended period of time.
Approximately 75% of UK employees reported suffering from burnout in 2020*
Signs of Employee Burnout
Organisations should be on the lookout for signs of potential burnout, such as:
- Lack of energy or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from duties or colleagues
- Negative attitude or cynicism
- Reduced efficiency or quality of work
- Irritability or sensitivity
Experienced employees may be adept at hiding these symptoms and remaining productive. As such, leadership must be fully committed to paying close attention to all behaviour in order to notice signs of potential burnout.
Tips for Preventing Burnout
Check in—Communicating openly and honestly can be a key method for detecting burnout. Discuss recent workloads, deadlines, and expectations, and encourage employees to be forthcoming about any issues.
Encourage breaks—Taking short breaks throughout the workday can provide relief from both physical and mental fatigue.
Cross-train—Some smaller organisations may have limited-sized teams, but it’s important that there is more than one employee capable of handling certain responsibilities. If an employee is aware that they are the only person who can perform certain duties, they may be hesitant to take time off. Even if this employee does decide to take time off, they may feel guilty or become even more stressed while they are away.
Be flexible—Some employees may put in particularly long hours, but employers would do well to remember that these individuals also have personal lives and families. In order to help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance, consider allowing flexible hours and remote work options.
Use technology—Organisations can develop more efficient methods of completing many different tasks by utilising new technology. Various software may be able to assist with many different tasks, such as training and payroll.
Show appreciation—It is important for organisations to recognise good work and to ensure their employees feel appreciated. This can be achieved through various programmes designed to incentivise employees and ensure successes are recognised and acknowledged.
Employers should understand that burnout is a serious workplace issue. If a worker is experiencing burnout, it should not be seen as a reflection of their work ethic or merit as an employee.
Contact your Account Director if you require more information on preventing burnout in the workplace.