Burnout isn't just a buzzword; it's a genuine problem facing many companies. Burned-out employees don't just feel overwhelmed or exhausted; they constantly experience the impact of stress, making it difficult to maintain high motivation, productivity, and efficiency.
While burnout has become a more significant concern for business leaders in recent years, following the challenges of the pandemic, it's not an entirely new concept. According to a Deloitte study, around 77% of employees have experienced some level of burnout in the workplace.
Left unchecked, burnout can disrupt your company culture, lead to disengagement, and even increase turnover, leaving you with gaps to fill in your team. Fortunately, there are several steps business leaders can take to reduce the risk of burnout influencing their staff.
First, eliminating burnout starts with ensuring every team member feels adequately empowered and supported. A "supportive" work environment recognises each employee's desire for a workplace built on mutual trust, respect, and consistent work/life balance.
To develop a supportive work environment, business leaders need to consider their employees' emotional and physical needs rather than concentrating exclusively on productivity and performance. For instance, you can:
Open communication is one of the most important factors companies can invest in to reduce the risk of burnout. Often, when employees experience burnout symptoms, such as disengagement, exhaustion, or stress, they feel uncomfortable approaching their leaders about these issues.
Ensure every staff member knows who to turn to for assistance when dealing with high-stress levels. Encourage employees to share feedback on how their working environment, schedule, or overall work experience might improve. It's also worth motivating team leaders and supervisors to regularly check in with staff members.
Don't wait until an annual performance review to ask employees how they feel about their role. Encourage managers to speak to their employees regularly and ensure they know how to show empathy and emotional intelligence during conversations.
Remember, regularly recognising and rewarding staff for good work can significantly reduce burnout too. According to Deloitte, performance and productivity levels are 14% higher in companies with an employee recognition program.
An important part of minimising burnout in the workplace is looking for ways to eliminate employees' daily issues and challenges. When staff members don't have access to the right resources, from engaging training opportunities to software, hardware, and even office furniture, they're less likely to thrive in their roles.
According to several studies, less than half of workers were given training to help them take advantage of new tools for remote and hybrid work when they were introduced into the workplace.
Additionally, many employees spend up to 50 minutes each day searching for the necessary information. This not only increases stress and frustration levels in the office, it also harms productivity.
Speak to employees to determine which resources they need to feel empowered. Experiment with new technology, equipment, and tools that may help staff members to complete tasks faster and more efficiently, and make sure each employee knows how to use the resources available.
Most importantly, ensure you're consistently upskilling and reskilling your workforce to give them the skills they need to excel in their roles.
Around 88% of candidates say company culture plays a role in where they choose to work and whether they stay with a business for an extended time. Effective company culture influences how work is done on a massive scale. It can help champion important workplace concepts, from teamwork and collaboration to creativity.
A positive workplace culture keeps team members engaged, motivated, and supported. Focus on embedding collaboration and camaraderie into your company culture by encouraging staff from different workplace sectors to work together regularly. Inspire teams to share their creative ideas and thoughts by rewarding those who take the initiative, think outside the box, and share their insights.
Overall, consider creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture by ensuring every team member feels respected and appreciated. Train employees on how to act with empathy and avoid bias or discrimination. Ask your managers and supervisors to lead by example, showing consistent care and respect for others.
Finally, while there are many things business leaders can do to reduce the risk of workplace burnout, it's also important for team members to invest in their wellbeing. Encouraging staff to practice self-care will help them to protect their physical and mental health.
Creating an employee wellbeing initiative is a good way to champion self-care in your business. This could involve sharing tips and advice with team members on improving their physical and mental health with regular exercise, good nutrition, and mindfulness. You could also provide teams access to gyms, therapists, and other professionals to help them manage any issues they might face.
Encourage team members to take time off when needed, whether they're dealing with significant stress or an illness, and ensure staff can approach leaders with requests for schedule changes or alterations to their job structure if they're encountering problems.
Burnout is a significant problem in the work place. Left unchecked, it can cause your most valuable staff members to become disengaged, increase turnover, and even damage the productivity and performance of your entire team.
Fortunately, business leaders can work with their employees to minimise the risk of burnout and improve company culture.
At Harris Lord, we have been helping firms acquire talent and job seekers find their ideal roles for over 25 years. We have placed four thousand candidates; if you want to find out how we can help, call us at 01403 273370.