Aug 18, 2020 12:30:00 AM

Easy Steps to Avoid Employee Burnout

Employee burnout, unfortunately, a common scenario today, with the fast-paced, high-pressure world we live in. 

Burnout can lead to serious complications for your workers and your overall operations if you don’t pay enough attention to it and view it as a very real condition.

While striving for high productivity is essential in pursuing business growth and success, HR teams and leaders like you should be keeping a close eye on the well-being of your team.

Ensuring employees are in good health is an important part of achieving business objectives, so it’s vital that you provide your team with a stimulating, balanced and fulfilling work environment.

To guide you, here are some simple tips that can help prevent your staff from burning out.

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What is employee burnout?

Employee burnout, also referred to as “job burnout”, is the state in which your employees feel physical, mental and emotional exhaustion towards their work.

It’s easy to spot employee burnout when you see your staff getting stressed or losing their overall passion and motivation for what they do.

The presence of employee burnout in your organisation can severely affect the performance of your workers because this condition makes them disengage from their colleagues, take recurring absences, break company rules or resign to seek other opportunities.

It can also lower the mood for the rest of the team too, as others feel the group’s energy drop. Most importantly, unhappy employees can also lead to dissatisfied customers.

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What are the factors contributing to employee burnout?

It takes more than one stressful event, deadline or misunderstanding to cause job burnout. Most often, employee burnout is a result of a combination of factors, occurring repeatedly over time.

For example, a fault in a product that causes the customer service team to receive complaints every single day for months on end.

To help address employee burnout, it’s necessary to identify the reasons behind this problem. Here are some typical causes of burnout you should be aware of:

  • Indefinite requirements

It’s hard for employees to feel satisfied with their work if their responsibilities are unclear. The situation can also be quite stressful when their tasks don’t match the job description they’ve applied for.
Employee burnout can also happen when employees are given difficult tasks without complete instructions and essential support.

  • An intense workload for a long period

Humans need breaks and balance to maintain energy levels. So, it’s normal for your employees to feel exhausted if they aren’t provided time to rest.

  • Frustrating leaders

The leadership of an organisation can make or break an employee’s working experience. Employees are more likely to feel burnout if they are surrounded by leaders who are not reasonable, supportive, inspiring and approachable.

  • Heavy consequences for mistakes

Certain work can carry great responsibilities with serious consequences for mistakes (i.e., financial compensation or lawsuit) – making employees feel burdened, extremely cautious and weary. This can weigh heavily on them over time.

  • No sense of accomplishment

Employees can lose their sense of fulfilment if they don’t receive any credit for their work. Without any recognition, your staff may feel unappreciated and demotivated.

  • Lack of incentives and compensation

When your employees are not provided with the appropriate wage and benefits, they tend to feel more exasperated and discontented with their job.

  • No freedom for decision making and creativity

Employees who aren’t given the voice to suggest or contribute can a little suffocated by their jobs. Too many restrictions can also lead to stress and employee burnout.

  • Weak communication

It’s essential for your employees to stay connected with their colleagues and management. When there are communication gaps, problems can go unaddressed and they may feel detached from the company – discouraging them even further.

Employee burnout can arise from many of these factors, but being aware of these is already a big step in dealing with the problem.

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So, what can be done to avoid employee burnout?

It doesn’t matter if you have the most competent and performing employees in the industry - if they burnout, your business will probably suffer from lower productivity, low quality of service delivery and a poor team culture.

To avoid your staff from getting physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted, here are some steps that can help avoid employee burnout:

1. Facilitate the setting of expectations.

Clearly discuss the responsibilities and tasks expected from each employee. You can also utilise key performance indicators (KPIs), so they are provided with directions on what to accomplish.

To help them, allow employees to be able to communicate what kind of support they are expecting from you.

This way, 2-way expectations are set.

2. Give consistent feedback and recognition.

Make employees feel valued by providing them with an avenue for growth and success. Provide feedback to help them know what to improve, change or maintain, and don’t hesitate to acknowledge their hard work and accomplishments. It will not only boost their morale, but it will also motivate them to do better next time.

3. Equip them with the necessary resources.

Ensure that employees are provided with the tools and training they need to accomplish their job successfully. You can also encourage team collaboration so that every member can support each other to accomplish tasks more effectively and efficiently.

4. Value employee well-being.

Your employees deserve to have a healthy work-life balance, and this should be valued as a part of giving them time to recharge and refresh themselves.

Encourage them to take a holiday when possible and don’t always encourage overtime for the sake of it. You can also invite health experts and mental health coaches to deliver seminars or free consultations for your employees.

Team activities, socialisation nights or Friday games can also reduce the stress they feel at work and encourage a bit more fun to balance out the hard work.

5. Foster open communication.

Let your employees be heard. Allow them to share their suggestions, their feedback and their concerns. This way, it will be easier for you to address the different issues they have.

Aside from providing helpful insights, establishing an open dialogue with your staff can also make them feel more connected with your company. People gain a sense of belonging and satisfaction when they know that their presence is acknowledged and their input is valued.

How active listening can avoid burnout situations

The problem with employee burnout is that most organisations never see it coming.

Fortunately, a platform like VibeCatch can help you manage and prevent employee burnout. By performing ongoing employee surveys, your business can facilitate consistent listening that aids in understanding the needs and concerns of employees.

The useful insights and valuable information you can gather from it can allow you to further prioritise your team’s well-being.

Download QWL White Paper How can VibeCatch help you? 

In this digital age where data is king, there is an opportunity for you to effectively measure employee engagement, performance and well-being.

By collecting valuable insights from your workers through one powerful platform, you’ll be able to learn how you can improve your company and its operations.

To do this effectively, it’s important to use active, scientific-based listening and learning of your internal workforce to yield better (and trackable) results – this is how VibeCatch can help you. 

What is VibeCatch? 

VibeCatch is a HR platform based on 15 years of proven research, offering you the opportunity to make a difference and prove the impact that you know you make every single day for the people around you. 

Through VibeCatch’s QWL Polls, Pulse Polls and 360 Feedback Polls, you can uncover hidden opportunities, correct issues and address areas of improvement for both employees and management. 

This time, you in the HR department will be able to work based on reliable information and you can now have a tangible Return on Investment (ROI) to present to management. 

Book an obligation-free consultation and we’ll discuss your options to show you how VibeCatch can help you help everyone.

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Posted by Juha Huttunen

Juha Huttunen
Juha is a Co-founder and the CEO of VibeCatch. A serial entrepreneur, technology enthusiast and geek with 15+ years of experience in startups, sales, leadership and growing business. To Juha, measuring improvements in performance and putting them in quantifiable and monetary terms is VibeCatch’s greatest strength.

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