How to prevent employee burnout?
A recent survey has found that 38% of working Canadians are more burned out now than the year before. On top of this, 45% of respondents are uncomfortable discussing their burnout with their employer. Burnout causes employees to become unmotivated and potentially even quit. And in a tough candidate’s market, you want to retain your employees as much as possible.
What is employee burnout?
According to the Mayo Clinic, Employee or job burnout is a “special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
Burnout affects employees’ ability to do their job, but it also impacts other aspects of their lives. Job burnout puts your physical and mental health at risk with potential consequences such as insomnia, risk for substance misuse, mental illness, vulnerability to disease and job dissatisfaction.
5 Tips for preventing burnout
- Encourage boundary setting
- Encourage employees to use vacation time
- Monitor workloads
- Recognize and reward contributions
- Lead by example
Encourage boundary setting
The average workweek is 40 hours; however, it’s not uncommon for employees to work more. The lines between work and life can blur and cause employees to devote more than their required hours. With covid-19 shifting workers online, many are still adjusting to this change even two years later.
Encourage your employees to set boundaries and create a better work-life balance. Keep an open line of communication and support your employees with finding which schedule and work style works best for them.
Encourage employees to use vacation time
Nearly one-third of Canadians didn’t use all of their vacation time in 2021. Employees don’t use all their vacation time because they fear being seen as replaceable, the company is understaffed, or the workload is too heavy. These reasons can lead to burnout reducing productivity and wellness in the workplace. Review which employees have unused vacation time and give them that nudge of encouragement to use it. If your company offers benefits, you most likely provide some form of paid time off (PTO). You want to create a work culture that uplifts rather than shames self-care and taking time to relax.
Overworking your employees with unrealistic goals or unclear assignments is a sure path to burnout. It’s normal for workloads to get heavier on occasion, but it’s not sustainable long term. Take a moment to reflect if you’ve equipped your employees for success. Are you burdening employees with unmanageable tasks? Have you provided the necessary resources and information to complete said tasks?
Recognize and reward contributions
I think almost all of us can agree we like to feel appreciated. When work gets heavy, a “thank you” can help lighten the load. When employees are doing well, take notice! A quick shout-out during a meeting or sending a direct email with some words of encouragement can make all the difference in preventing burnout.
Lead by example
Supervisors and managers set the tone for their teams. Because of this, you must manage your own stress and practice behaviours like taking breaks, using vacation time and finding a balance between work and life. Modelling this behaviour will trickle down and can support employees to do the same.
Live Assets is a boutique IT Staffing/Recruiting firm specializing exclusively in building IT teams of excellence for the Information Technology sector.
We are a small, but productive team that works closely together and has had a 96% success rate for the past number of years!
We have a diverse number of clients and industries and focus on both full-time and contract I.T. opportunities.