If you’re a conscientious business leader, manager or co-worker and are worried about employee burnout then you have landed on the right page.
According to new research commissioned by LumApps, a leading Employee Experience Platform, 88% of UK employees have experienced at least some level of burnout over the last two years. Furthermore, one-third of respondents stated they frequently suffer from physical and mental exhaustion due to workplace pressures. Clearly, this is a situation that needs addressing urgently. Read on to discover how to identify employee burnout before it escalates and some actionable ways you can help employees who aren’t coping at work.
Burnout can happen as a result of workplace situations, problems in personal life or a mixture of the two. Here are some employee behaviours to watch out for which may indicate burnout.
Naturally, there are other behaviours and attitudes that an employee might exhibit that could indicate burnout. These are easier to identify if you know the person well and can spot mood changes. If the employee is newer to the business and you aren’t able to make a judgement call on whether the way they are acting is of concern, you might need to broach it with them in a safe, anonymous space.
How to prevent and address employee burnout
Promote a good work/life balance
Plenty of businesses like to claim they do this in their employee handbook and so forth but don’t practice what they preach. Management must show that they have a good work/life balance themselves and promote it throughout the organisation. For example, encouraging colleagues to carve out time for relaxation and self-care at work and making meaningful efforts to support people when they need to take time off to be with family or loved ones.
Colleagues should be discouraged from checking and answering emails outside work hours and on holidays. Presenteeism, where people feel they have to stay late to show their commitment to the company, is an absolute no-no.
Monitor and adjust workload
This is a tricky one to navigate as employees might not even realise they have too much on and may be worried about mentioning they aren’t coping for fear of seeming like they aren’t doing well in their role. Creating a workplace culture where people can speak up will help (more on this shortly) but there is plenty you can do from a structural point of view.
Keep an eye on project scheduling and progress. The occasional spike in the amount of work a person is expected to do is generally OK, but they should not be expected to sustain higher volumes of work on a regular or ongoing basis. If the workload is increasing for a good reason perhaps you can look at the colleague’s meeting or travel schedule and rearrange their calendar so they don’t need to attend every meeting or can conduct some over Zoom rather than spending hours on the train.
Create a positive, supportive workplace culture
We hope these tips on how to avoid employee burnout have been useful and have given you some ideas on how to make your office and your workplace culture more positive.
Honouring your commitment to your staff and being able to play a role in making their lives better and/or easier has to be one of the most rewarding parts of being a good manager. Life is tough right now and that isn’t going to change for the foreseeable future, unfortunately. Keep well-being conversations flowing, encourage colleagues to make recommendations and let you know when and how you can do better. Always follow up on your promises and show that you are living the kind of life you promote to employees. That means not answering or sending emails outside work hours unless necessary, admitting to vulnerabilities and sharing when you are having a bad day.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
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