Preventing burnout among employees
Burnout is a serious problem that can affect all employees across a wide variety of sectors. In 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially added burnout to its international classification of diseases.
According to a study by Asana, approximately 75% of UK employees reported suffering from burnout in 2020.
Signs of employee burnout:
- Increased mental distance from duties or colleagues
- Reduced efficiency or quality of work
- Negative attitude, cynicism, irritability or sensitivity
Why is this so important now?
With many employees returning to the office for the first time after the Coronavirus lockdown, employers should be aware that this can be a stressful and overwhelming time for some. The reintegration of employees into the workplace must be closely managed for success.
Tips for preventing burnout
Burnout can make employees less productive and may even have a negative effect on morale. If burnout becomes a major issue for an organisation, it can have both finanical and reputational consequences.
Here are a few ideas you can implement to help:
- Check in: Communicate openly about workload and expectations
- Encourage breaks: Take short breaks throughout the workday to relieve physical and mental fatigue
- Cross-train: More than one employee must be capable of handling responsibilities so that employees can freely take time off
- Show appreciation: This is important for morale
- Be flexible: Allow flexible hours and remote work options to provide work/life balance
- Use technology: Utilise technology to develop more efficient methods of completing tasks
Leadership must pay close attention to notice signs of potential burnout as employees may hide symptoms and remain productive. Employers should understand that burnout is a serious workplace issue and preventing it starts with leadership. It should not be seen as a reflection of work ethic or merit.