Your employees work hard at their jobs every day, and you do the best you can to keep them well paid, and in good environments, so they’ll be ready to come back each morning.
But burnout is a real thing, and it’s a real concern, especially for jobs where labor can be physically demanding. Some people get burned out by monotony; others feel overwhelmed by a lack of stability; still, others just lose interest and are eager for something new but don’t know how to make a change.
First, let’s take a look at what burnout means. The Mayo Clinic defines it as a state of physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion, coupled with what some might call imposter syndrome, in which the worker doubts their own competence and ability to do their job or that their work is of value.
So now that we know what it is, how can you help your employees avoid it?
1. Set boundaries.
It should go without saying that work demands should be left for the workday, but so many employees feel they need to be tethered to their phones or in easy reach if their manager needs them. Make it clear to team leaders that employees are free to turn their phones off or to not respond to work-related messages or emails during their non-work time unless it’s a clear and true emergency. Then follow your own advice and make sure this is adhered to across the company.
2. Offer feedback and support consistently.
If your workers know they’re valued, that the work they do matters to their managers and is important to the company overall, they’ll begin to see that worth in themselves. It’s also a good idea to check in from time to time and make sure people fully understand their responsibilities. A little check-in never hurt anyone.
3. Encourage people to take their vacation days.
If employees have paid time off, tell them they’re free to use it without penalty. So many workers feel they’ll be viewed as uncommitted or lazy if they take a day or two away from work. But how can a person recharge if they’re working 40+ hours a week, 52 weeks a year? Many people start to burn out because they’re not turning their minds off in their non-work hours. They’ve earned them, encourage your employees to take them, and everything will be fine while they’re recharging.
4. Get a better sense of workload.
It might have gone totally unnoticed that one of your teams is getting all the projects that require heavy lifting while another has been going through the motions for a while. Talk with some employees and see if there are any disparities of this nature. See if someone, or some group, feels overworked or resentful in any way. See what can be done to reassign tasks and try to equalize demand. That will show your workers that you care about their opinions and are invested in their well-being while also trying to be as fair as possible. They’ll feel heard and valued.
5. Expand the community.
Work is about work and completing tasks, but that doesn’t mean a team from work can’t go out into the community as a group and volunteer. If that isn’t possible, can your company sponsor a food or clothing drive? Maybe initiate a fundraiser and make it a fun competition, with the “winning team” getting a pizza lunch or some other reward? In the end, everyone, including your community at large, wins. People like to help; give them away to do so at work.
Burnout is a real thing that can lead to frustration, anger, depression, and, possibly, the loss of good employees. Taking a few minutes to try and incorporate some easy checks and balances can help make everyone feel better.
Find a New Team Member with Debbie’s Staffing
When you need to find a new team member, or if you’re looking for more advice on how to care for the employees you have, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We’re standing by with expertise on how to help manage your team, plus we have an in-depth database of skilled employees that can help your organization grow. Contact us today!