At any given time, a portion of your workforce is experiencing burnout and work-related stress. Burnout is a very real issue that can have a negative effect on your employee’s health and ability to do their job. It can take on a number of forms – emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. It can happen in all types of workplaces for all types of employees. Even happy and productive employees can experience burnout from time to time.
Here we will outline some of the things that can cause workplace stress and burnout. Then we’ll outline some ways to support your employees and help them get back on track.
What Can Cause Burnout and Stress?
There are many different triggers that can cause stress and burnout. Some of the most common causes are:
- Workload: Employees feel they have too much work to manage or they are working too many hours.
- Type of work: There is a level of stress associated with performing certain tasks.
- Workplace culture: A poor workplace culture can cause employees to stress because they are having trouble fitting in, or they are not getting the support they need.
- Degree of satisfaction: Employees are not happy in their role. Perhaps the job is not what they expected or they are having issues with a manager or coworkers.
- Personal life: There are things happening in the employee’s personal life that is affecting their ability to do their job. Stresses at home can creep into the workplace.
What Are the Signs an Employee Is Experiencing Burnout?
There are a variety of telltale signs an employee is experiencing burnout. Be on the lookout for these signs:
- The employee has started to disengage
- They are less social and communicate less
- They take more sick days than usual
- Production and work quality falls off
- There is a shift in their attitude
- They don’t seem happy
How Can You Help Your Employees Feeling Stressed or Burned Out?
There is a lot you can do to support your employees when they feel stressed. More importantly, there are a lot of things you can do to help prevent burnout before it becomes an issue:
- Proper training: Provide your employees with everything they need to be successful in their job. This starts with proper training when you hire them and continues for the duration of their job. Set realistic performance expectations, give them a proper amount of time to ramp up, and provide ongoing coaching. Proper training and coaching ensures your employees know that if they do have issues, they have a support system to fall back on.
- Mental health: Your company needs to take mental health seriously. Consider implementing a mental health policy and program to support your workers. Create a process for how to confidentially support employees experiencing stress or burnout. Have workshops about mental health and how to reduce stress. Provide training for management on how to identify stress, burnout, and how to support employees.
- Work-life balance: Everyone needs a good work-life balance. Often, employers overlook the important role home-related stress can have on employees. Something as simple as the ability to fit in doctors’ appointments and having the ability to leave early occasionally to address home concerns can reduce an employee’s level of stress.
- Assess your schedule: Your work schedule and office hours could be a source of stress and burnout. Sure, you have a business to run, but are you running your employees too hard? Are they working too many hours? Are they working hours that are not ideal for them? Speak with your employees about work hours. Could they use some more flexibility or even shift work? There may be a compromise that takes stress off your employees while ensuring there is no dip in productivity.
- Offer incentives: Offer incentives to your employees that can help reduce stress and burnout. Perhaps you offer up additional vacation days as a reward. Many companies have half-day Fridays or have social team outings outside the office to give employees a break and a chance to relax. The types of performance rewards you offer can help employees feel less stressed and minimize burnout.
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