In today’s fast-paced work culture, employee burnout is becoming a more common issue. In fact, more and more studies are suggesting that as many as 50% of workers feel that they are overworked and under-appreciated in their current roles. This is a worrying statistic for a number of reasons, but how can employers spot the signs of burnout and what can HR teams do to help resolve the issue?
Spotting the Signs of Burnout
In any workplace, there are sure to be top performers who always arrive to work early, work hard all day and are the last to leave. They may even be responding to emails on weekends or on their days off. While working hard is always a great thing and should be praised, when people don’t give themselves time to relax and unwind, it could lead to burnout. The term burnout can sometimes be misunderstood, however. It’s much more than just workplace stress, although that can certainly contribute to burnout. Rather, it’s a feeling of complete exhaustion, both mentally and physically, and a feeling of emptiness. People can experience different levels of burnout, so it can be difficult to detect, but there are a few tell-tale signs to watch out for.
Chronic fatigue and depression can be a major sign of burnout. If an employee is consistently feeling tired, having a lack of energy, or expressing feelings of sadness and low self-esteem, burnout could be the cause. Similarly, a lack of focus and neglecting duties could also be a sign to watch out for. Because people who are suffering from burnout are often extremely tired, they can become irritable and this can even escalate to full-blown rage outbursts if it’s not handled properly.
It may be the case that employees with burnout have started to become more cynical or critical at work or dragging themselves into work and having difficulty getting motivated to start. Likewise, staying motivated and concentrating on tasks or projects is a sign that the individual is struggling and could be too mentally fatigued to work to their best ability.
Preventing Burnout in Employees
Now that you know what to look for in employees when it comes to burnout, how do you go about preventing it from happening within the organisation. The first step to preventing this issue from arising is to establish open lines of communication. This will ensure that staff feel comfortable speaking up if they’re struggling with their workload or with other word-related problems that are causing burnout. This could be implemented fairly smoothly with the help of Cezanne HR software.
Boundaries are also important and it’s key that the management team realise that there are only so many hours in a day that staff can work. To demand too much from employees is not only unfair but it also develops unhealthy boundaries in the workplace, where staff struggle to switch off and leave their work at the office. Make sure that staff take their lunchbreaks and have plenty of time away from the job to relax and unwind.
Creating a pleasurable place to work each day is paramount to a healthy work-life balance, and to preventing burnout. You team should enjoy coming to work each day and if the company is conscious of the environment it creates, this will establish a brilliant work culture. Part of this involves fostering creativity and fun where possible, as well as helping staff to feel appreciated for what they do each day.
Finally, it’s easy to feel like you’re never getting closer to your goals when you’re experiencing burnout, so ensure that, as a company, you’re celebrating the small wins with the team as well as the large goals. It’s always worth recognising when you’ve taken steps towards a bigger company goal and building a positive company culture that celebrates regularly.
If you’re noticing that your staff are becoming prone to burnout, it’s important to address them straight away and establish healthier practices in the workplace. The business as a whole will enjoy more success when the employees in the company are happy, healthy and motivated to work each day. But none of that can be achieved unless burnout is addressed and, better yet, prevented.
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