5 ways to prevent employee burnout

March 17, 2021 Christina DeBusk

A recent Gallup Poll reveals that three in four workers (76 percent) feel burned out at least part of the time on the job, with 21 percent saying that they have burnout “very often” and another 7 percent citing that they feel this way “always.”

The problem with burnout in the workplace is that it has negative consequences for both employee and employer. For the employee, burnout results in reduced work performance, decreased job satisfaction, lower morale and can even lead to health issues. The company loses too via increased sick day usage, high turnover rates and decreased output.

A study published in the journal Work & Stress further indicates that employee burnout can hurt your customers’ perceptions of your business. So, how can you prevent employee burnout and avoid all of these issues?

Keep the lines of communication open

When employees feel that they can go to managers and supervisors if they are feeling burnt out, they are more likely to reach out before it becomes a major problem. This is the key to prevention. Stop the burnout before it even starts.

Let your staff know that you care about them as human beings. Encourage them to step forward and talk to someone if they are experiencing overwhelm while on the job.

Give managers the power to act upon burnout

Of course, open communication is only effective if employees’ concerns are not only heard but also acted upon. If they feel as if their issues aren’t being addressed, this could make them worse.

Admittedly, you can’t always give staff exactly what they want as you still have a business to run. However, giving your management the power to make some changes in an effort to reduce or prevent burnout sends a message that you don’t want a culture of exhaustion and stress.

These permissions could include allowing a more flexible work schedule, changing shifts to provide better work-life balance or redistributing some of the employee’s tasks.

Promote a team-based environment

The great thing about teamwork is that everyone works together and no one is left behind. It encourages staff to really look out for each other and to lend a helping hand when they see a co-worker who is struggling.

One way to promote a team-based environment is to address staff as team members. This decreases feelings of “us versus them” and helps them see themselves as part of a whole.

Another idea is to regularly schedule teamwork activities so employees learn to work together as a cohesive unit. This can also extend beyond the workplace, such as by sponsoring a team at a local charitable event.

Find ways to make work more meaningful

When work becomes just a job, it’s easy to feel burnt out by all of the demands. Conversely, if the employee feels like they are part of a higher purpose, it becomes more of a mission for good instead of simply trying to survive the day.

Creating this type of meaning can be achieved by reinforcing what the company is working toward or how it is trying to contribute to a better world. Help staff see that what they are doing is part of a bigger picture.

Also, take the time to learn what motivates your employees to show up for work each day. What do they enjoy about their jobs and when do they feel as if their work matters most? Accentuate these feelings by letting them know that they are appreciated and valued for the work they put in.

Highlight their strengths

People feel their best when they are using their personal strengths and talents. So, one way to prevent burnout is to identify what these strengths are and make them a part of the employee’s everyday work.

This one factor alone can make a huge difference in how the employee feels. The more their job works in tandem with the things they do naturally well, the greater their satisfaction. The greater their satisfaction, the lower their chances of developing burnout.

Finding ways to prevent burnout in the workplace is good for both employees and employers. These five strategies can help.

How can we help?

An output-based staffing partner takes the burden of burnout and turnover off you. With this model, they are responsible for hiring and training associates and maintain productivity at no additional cost to you. You pay only for output and not headcount.

Another key component of a cost-per-unit model, such as SIMOS, are incentive-based compensation programs. These programs are designed to prevent burnout, enhance productivity, mitigate turnover and increase output.

For example, employees are incentivized by cartons processed, earned hours, attendance, productivity or other factors.

These programs are designed to motivate, engage and inspire your team to meet your objectives.

Partner with a trusted staffing provider such as SIMOS to learn how an incentive program can reduce burnout and turnover in your operation.

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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