Employee burnout is becoming increasingly common across the country. It occurs when employees become physically, mentally, and emotionally drained due to their day to day work. Common symptoms include headaches, fatigue, and general stress. Despite growing awareness about mental health in the workplace, many employers tend to get hung up on responding to burnout cases, rather than preventing them.
It’s true that employers can’t fully control each individual employee’s experience on the job – however, there are a ton of things they can do to create an enjoyable and fulfilling work environment. The payoff? Higher productivity, happier employees, and lower turnover.
No work-life balance
More hours doesn’t necessarily equal better work. Employees who don’t take time for themselves are often the first to burn out. It’s up to employers to encourage workers to take time for themselves so when they do show up to work, they’re present and ready to tackle the day!
They have too much on their plate
It’s tempting to rely on your top performers to take on extra work when needed. Perhaps you’re short a couple of workers for a shift, or an employee puts in their notice and you haven’t hired a replacement. However, even the best workers can’t maintain a heavy workload forever. Be sure to provide support and make plans so you can relieve them of extra work as soon as possible!
Their job is boring
Every job has dull, boring parts to deal with – that’s a fact. However, even the most dedicated employee won’t be happy for long doing the same repetitive task over and over again. It’s important to build jobs in a way that each employee gets a chance to mix things up and work on different tasks so they stay engaged in their work.
They’re in the wrong job
There are few things more demotivating than working a job that isn’t a good fit for you. Employees in the wrong jobs often feel unfulfilled, or they don’t have the skills to make them feel successful in their role. That’s why it’s so important to assess candidates properly during the hiring process. It’s more than just looking at their past experience – it’s about getting to know their personality, their soft skills, and determining whether they’re a good fit for your business.
The workplace is depressing
Have you ever walked into a bright, cheerfully decorated room and immediately felt a positive shift in your mood? Your workplace environment is a huge factor when it comes to fighting employee burnout, as it can directly affect their performance and emotions. Ensure that your employees are working in a space with good lighting, and consider decorating the space with bright, inviting colors. Better yet, consider decorating the employee break room so they have a comfortable place to relax.
They feel unappreciated
It’s isn’t about handing out gold stars or creating an “Employee of the Month” program. In fact, lots of employees can feel unappreciated despite these efforts. The key is showing genuine gratitude, acknowledging your employee’s efforts regularly, and providing support when they need it.
They’re in a dead-end job
If you expect your top-performing employees to stay in the same entry-level job for the next 5 years, think again. Ambitious individuals are looking to take their work to the next level, and if they don’t see an end goal in their day-to-day work, they’ll start looking elsewhere. Creating a career plan with your employees and having regular meetings about their growth within the business is a great way to keep them engaged and incentivized in their work.
You don’t trust them
Whether you’re micromanaging your team or you’re ignoring their input, there’s no doubt that lack of trust can destroy an employee’s confidence and cause them to question their value to the business. Often, managers don’t even realize they’re making employees feel this way. Do some self-evaluating and ensure that you involve your team in as many aspects of the business as you can!