The signs of burnout and how to combat it
Employee burnout is becoming increasingly more common.
As an employer, you want to maximise productivity, encourage your team to go the extra mile, and fill your business with motivation, hard work, and profit.
However, there is a fine line between stimulating your employees and driving them into a state of burnout.
An overworked employee is at risk of becoming stressed, making mistakes, some of which can be severe in certain workplaces, and can even affect your business’s reputation and profit.
As you have a duty of care to your employees, it is important to spot the signs of an employee who is working too hard and input steps to prevent employee burnout—here is what you need to know.
Signs that an employee is working too hard
75% of people say they have experienced burnout at some point in their careers, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any telling signs.
Drop in performance levels
Typically, overworking doesn’t lead to more output, but less. As an employee juggles a multitude of tasks that are potentially outside of their skill set, pay grade, or time limit, their overall performance will start to decrease.
This will often display itself in reduced energy and efficiency, uncharacteristic behaviour, decreased motivation, or lack of team effort.
Negative customer feedback
Another easy way to spot an employee who is working too hard is through customer feedback.
Receiving negative feedback for an employee, especially if it is particularly out of character, could be the result of an employee losing care and passion for their role because of burnout.
Decrease in physical and mental health
Overworking can also lead to significant health issues. An employee approaching burnout may experience depression, reduced sleep, memory loss, and can have an increased risk of heart disease.
In order to cope with burnout, employees may also turn to alcohol to alleviate the stress, opening the door to another heap of potential issues.
Eventually, all that extra work your employee is pumping out will lead to tardiness or absenteeism as stress and exhaustion take hold. In fact, employees struggling with burnout are 63% more likely to take a sick day.
With shift management software, such as Findmyshift, you can be notified when staff don’t show up for work, allowing you to keep track of any absent employees you suspect may be working too hard.
Ways to alleviate employee burnout
Almost 70% of employees feel that their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout. It’s therefore important to standout with your business and ensure that your employees are cared for in order to raise their positive output.
Ensure that you have solid, proven processes and procedures, and then train your employees accordingly. An employee who is fully trained and prepared for their job role will experience significantly less stress than one who is left to their own devices.
It is also important to provide training refreshers; allowing your employees the chance to brush up on basics, learn more advanced elements, or identify handy tips and tricks that could be beneficial to their workload.
Respect employee work-life balance
To avoid burnout, managers must establish a healthy work culture. By carefully monitoring your employee’s workload, empowering them to know their limits and say no, and encouraging them to take annual leave, they will experience less burnout, stress, and exhaustion.
Remember not to call or hassle employees during their annual leave unless absolutely necessary—this will allow them to mentally detach themselves from the workplace and replenish their batteries.
Help those who are burnt out
By regularly checking on employees in one-to-one meetings, you can assess their workload, provide guidance, and give them a chance to open up or ask for help. It is also important to show your appreciation for your team.
Small gestures, such as acknowledging good work, thanking your employees, or bringing in lunch or coffees can go a long way in terms of motivation and job satisfaction.
Allow employees power over their work schedules
Allowing your employees to take control of their own shifts and schedules can make it much easier for them to manage their own burnout. Offering flexible hours or the ability to work from home can lead to improved productivity and lower stress levels.
With shift management software you can compare the hours worked vs. the hours scheduled for your employees and have full oversight of timesheets.
You will then be able to keep track of your employees’ hours as they manage their own shifts, perfecting the balance of managing and empowering.
With such strategies in hand, you will be well-equipped to spot any signs of employees who are working too hard, and you will have a multitude of steps ready to help any employee who is suffering with burnout.
As a result, you will have happier, healthier employees who can only benefit your business.