Tips for Avoiding Burnout at Work
Companies oftentimes face some form of employee burnout. It can stem from a multitude of things, but identifying burnout, addressing burnout symptoms, and preventing burnout at work can alleviate high turnover rates, low productivity, and develop a better employee culture. Here are some tips for avoiding burnout at work.
Determine Burnout Symptoms
Burnout can be expressed in different forms and it is imperative for leaders and supervising managers to be able to identify burnout symptoms. A few ways burnout can appear include:
- Negative work attitude and/or easily irritated or emotional
- Low energy or interest at work
- Thoughts of emptiness, work isn’t meaningful, lack of recognition for work
- Physical pains, such as headache, backache, or illness
To determine whether or not an employee is experiencing burnout, try administering a burnout self-test.
Identify Burnout Causes
There are many potential causes for burnout, such as ambiguous goals or expectations, inefficient team or organization structures, overwhelming workloads, lack of support, lack of recognition for work, and monotonous or unmotivating work.
Employees may not be aware of their symptoms or cause of their burnout, but leaders and supervising managers should be able to recognize shifts in employee behaviors and immediately address them. Opening a private dialogue with the burnt-out employee can open the door for feedback and proper discussions to resolve the issue(s) involved.
Depending on the type of burnout an employee experiences, there are ways to prevent burnout in the future. Here are some ways to overcome burnout.
Define Purpose. Sometimes working in a monotonous role and/or working on multiple projects can make it difficult for employees to see the bigger picture. Discuss with employees how they view their work. For example, does their work make them feel fulfilled? If no, why not? Perhaps the employee may feel that their work doesn’t impact the people it serves. This could be an opportunity for the employer to show them the tangible results of their work (i.e., stats for a project they worked on, leads and conversions that resulted from their efforts, etc.). It is also important to ask them how you – the employer or leader – can assist them with making their role more meaningful. Maybe a change of departments, developing a career strategy, or re-evaluating their role efficiencies could resolve their lack of purpose or meaning.
Audit Role Efficiencies. Overwhelming workloads and lack of support can contribute to job inefficiencies. Auditing role efficiencies, such as staffing, hours worked, sick time and leave taken, and tasks that don’t fall under specific roles can reveal underlying issues with job efficiencies. Re-evaluating what tasks are delegated to each role can help mitigate employee stresses.
Developing Management Skills. Whether an employee is struggling with managing conflicting priorities, effectively managing their time, or require upskilling or additional training, it is critical for leaders and supervising managers to determine the appropriate action plan to assist their employees. As a manager, it might be something as simple as clearly stating what projects take priority. Other times, offering tips on better time management can assist the employee(s) with meeting deadlines and seeking the support they need to succeed.
Finding Balance. Sometimes burnout is an employee-centric issue, such as poor health and wellness. For example, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and managing stress are all factors that can significantly impact employee productivity and engagement. Encourage employees to take appropriate meal and rest breaks. For those that are in the habit of eating lunch at their desk, incorporate a lunch-and-learn program or encourage employees to each lunch together. It can encourage employees not only to socialize but to also step away from their work. Meditation, deep breathing and relaxation, and encouraging a work-life balance are all ways to help regulate employee health and well-being.
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Source: Avoiding Burnout