How to Reduce Stress and Employee Burnout
Did you know multitasking contributes to employee burnout? It's happened to the best of us.
There's no employee, no matter how good they are, that has a chance of getting the five tasks done if they do them one at a time. More times than can be counted, you've probably noticed an employee will get a cup of coffee, push up their sleeves, and start multitasking. After all, can't everyone make three business calls and finish the last Excel spreadsheet and PowerPoint needed for a work presentation tomorrow?
Statistics show, 23% of employees feel burned out at work very often or all the time and 44% of employees feel burned out sometimes at work. That averages to two-thirds of full-time U.S. workers experience burnout on the job.
It's work scenarios like that meet or exceeds the definition of the term employee stress. Unfortunately, it's going to require more than one night of restful sleep to get burned out or stressed out employees back to their calm and professional state of mind. There are answers out there that can help.
Read on and discover in the guide below how to recognize the signs of employee burnout and how to prevent burnout. Learn more about how to mitigate employee circumstances so it's never a problem you'll have to deal with again.
What is Employee Burnout?
Employee burnout starts generally begins as work-related stress. The work-related stress becomes so severe it leads to physical and emotional exhaustion. What's more, employees can lose their sense of identity or feel a loss of accomplishment in their job duties. The effects of burnout are many and can negatively impact an employees health leading to an increase in sick days and personal issues.
It's a fact that employees who feel connected to their company, their boss, or their co-workers suffer from less stress on the job. It's also a fact that even with feelings of connectivity to their job, employees who aren't provided with the tools they need to do their job, can become overwhelmed. Sometimes those tools are other people working with them on a project or a computer system that doesn't break down every few days.
It’s also critical to regularly evaluate their current job duties versus their job description and determine if some items can be delegated or shifted from the employees plate.
When you start to see employee burnout symptoms, you might have waited a day too long to address the employee's stress levels. But if you act quickly, with a proactive plan of action, you may be able to keep employees healthy and productive. You need to meet with them and discuss their needs. Inquire if their work-life balance is healthy or if their work hours need to be reevaluated.
You may be able to help your company by finding out what you can do to assist with their workload. In the end, you’re hanging onto an employee who provides your company unlimited value.
How do You Identify Employee Burnout Symptoms?
Since employee burnout affects your worker's physical and mental well-being, it's important you know the symptoms of what employee burnout looks like. Here are some things you may notice that you need to pay attention to:
Is the employee becoming more and more distracted and having a hard time concentrating?
Have you noticed the employee being short and irritable with co-workers, customers, on the phone, etc.?
Do employees come in looking like they haven't been to sleep in days? Are employees complaining to other people they haven't slept in days?
Have you noticed your employee has become cynical or overly critical about things at work?
Is your employee having more incidents with unexplained headaches, stomach issues, or other physical ailments?
Employee burnout happens for many different reasons, which range from extreme increases in job duties and activities to dysfunctional workplace dynamics. To address employee burnout more fully, you need to have open communication allowing them to tell you what's going on.
Managing Communication with a Burned Out Employee
Every company needs to have in place interactive communication with its employees. This means the employees need to be able to communicate their concerns, problems, issues, plans, or task delays without fear of being fired or face other negative consequences. The best way to handle work communication is in an open and free-flowing two-way system.
Communication between an employee and employer should never be condensed into the yearly employee review. Interaction between employees and employers should be honest and present. Communication should also always be tactful and personable.
It takes no more than a few minutes to learn the basics about an employee or to take them to a work lunch every once in a while. Another proactive communication method used is to keep your employees in the loop of what's going on with the company. That includes operational changes, new clients, social opportunities, and more.
A bonus initiative you can start or ramp up again doesn't have to cost your company any money but provides a lot of goodwill and work satisfaction. Celebrate employees who are doing a good job by giving them a certificate of achievement or make an announcement so they can be congratulated on a job well done.
Employee Burnout Prevention
There may be nothing more challenging than trying to prevent something that hasn't happened yet, like employee burnout. However, the very purpose of prevention is to make sure an event or activity doesn't happen. There are some very resourceful employee burnout prevention techniques that can help you.
One of the things HR can do after hiring an employee is to create fair workloads. Have what your employees need to thrive. By creating fair workloads for your employees, you're letting them know you're trying to optimize staffing solutions for productive and healthy workloads per employee.
It's the fair distribution of job responsibilities that lets them know you want them to be able to do their job well with the appropriate amount of resources to make it happen.
Monitor Scheduling Issues
You also want to monitor scheduling issues and concerns with employees. Monitoring the schedules of your employees is always important. When you see someone has worked too many long hours in a row, make sure they get some hours or a day off to revitalize.
If you see an employee struggling because they've had to be on the road traveling to meetings ten days in a row, you need to open up communication and dialogue about what can be done to assist them. It's great if you've created a work environment that keeps a dialogue open so employees can use it when they need to. But in case that's not part of the work environment in your office, make sure you are proactive and look for opportunities where you address employee work imbalances.
The Importance of Employee Feedback
Make sure HR and company administration has the tools and resources needed to provide effective communication and provide balanced employee workloads. Companies should also know how to prioritize both projects and the employees who help the company meet their goals every year. What companies can't do is read an employee's mind.
Feedback is everything, and it needs to be a two-way street: thank an employee who worked late to help you meet a deadline. Everyone wants to feel like they are an important key player at their company.
It doesn't take long to give employees feedback on their work, and it goes a long way in helping them feel like a valuable part of the company team and increasing employee engagement.
Get Help If You Need It
It doesn't matter if you own a business or are the HR Vice President for a major corporation, everyone needs help at the office from time to time. There are tools and resources out there for you to use that give you effective and efficient workflow. What's more it can help streamline your business so that you know more about what's working or needs to be revamped for better results.
Tailoring the tasks, job skills, projects, or services you need sometimes requires the help of a human resource outsourcing company. You may not need the HR outsourcing services for more than a few days. You might need them for a few months or longer. No matter what work service or for how long, it's vital you use an HR outsourcing company when you need it.
An HR outsourcing company can help you with administration, payroll or a suite of professional services. An exemplary HR outsourcing company will meet with you to figure out what best meets your staffing needs based on criteria and specifics you direct. If you're taking the time to evaluate what your company needs and what staffing holes exist, there's a way forward with HR outsourcing that will have positive results.
The Path Forward
When things start to drop off or fall apart with employees or contractors at work, employee stress may be the least of your problems. There's no one-size-fits-all in dealing with employee burnout. But there are resources and companies that work on getting you the help you need when you need it.
Instead of trying to measure how bad the job burnout is with your team members see if you can handle the overload, if something happens, don't let it get to that level of uncertainty. Part of being a good administrator, business owner or business leader is being able to recognize signs of burnout and take control of a negative situation and spin it until you get positive results. Reach out to us when you're ready to reduce burnout and workplace stress in your organization.