In today’s fast-paced world, where a constant and instant flow of information leads to sudden changes in business decisions are crucial. More and more employees are feeling the pressure to cope with the demands of those changes such as economic, political, and societal shifts, especially during the time of COVID-19 lockdowns. The demands expected of employees to put in longer working hours, complete extra workloads, and unexpected tasks will cause exhaustion that will lead to an increase in employee burnout.
In an article published by the American Psychological Association (APA), burnout and stress are prevalent among all professions across every spectrum of industry. In 2021, APA conducted a survey on 1,501 adult workers in the US, and 3 in 5 workers reported stress as the primary contributor to burnout. Moreover, 44% of the respondents reported physical fatigue, and 36% attribute it to emotional exhaustion. The truth of the matter is that the number of employees affected by burnout impacts their productivity and the efficiency of business operations.
An alarming number indeed, as a company, how can you help employees reduce physical and emotional fatigue? The initial step is to evaluate various stressors such as the amount of work they do, and the work environment affecting their well-being. Determining the cause will be a guide to tackling the problems attributed to workplace stress.
Factors That Leads To Burnout
Burnout is a type of stress that puts a person in a state of physical or emotional exhaustion. It involves a sense of reduced accomplishment that affects a person’s will to do minute tasks. Although burnout can’t be diagnosed medically, some experts point out that depression and anxiety are behind burnout.
- Work-life imbalance
- Unclear job expectations
- Lack of control
- Lack of social support
A dysfunctional work environment
This is the amalgamation of the 3 points mentioned previously, unclear job expectations, lack of control, and lack of support. Additionally, a dysfunctional work environment can be categorized as a toxic environment for employees to work in.
5 Solutions To Help Employees
As an organization, the most important asset within a company is its employees. Alleviating and looking for ways to improve working conditions in the workplace, improving organizational structure, and enhancing employee relations will minimize burnout among staff. Here are tips for managers to reduce employee burnout.
- Encourage employees to use vacation time
Encouraging employees to take some time off work. Using their allotted vacation time or paid time off for some time to themselves. Letting them take the time to relax and recuperate would help lower stress. Helping them develop a healthy response to stress is crucial. Having a healthy diet, exercise and plenty of sleep would help bodies recuperate from stress. In fact, leisure or pleasurable activities release endorphins into your body. Endorphins are chemical hormones that help relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve one’s sense of well-being.
- Monitor workloads and improve scheduling
Strictly adhering to a recommended daily or weekly schedule of tasks helps employees manage their workload, and minimize stress. Monitoring workload will help provide a clear picture of how your employees are dealing with the time to complete, or manage their work without risking exhaustion.
- Weekly meetings
Having weekly meetings with your employees about how the past weeks went, and feedback about their work, hurdles, and accomplishments will help them by a mile. It’s important for managers to keep track of productivity levels within a team, when a team or an individual is struggling to meet deadlines, in some cases, that person might be facing exhaustion.
- Practice open communication
An organization that has an open and inclusive culture practices open communication on all levels, regardless of rank and position. Practicing open communication will invite ideas, collaboration, and harmony within the workplace. Learning to openly communicate will remove barriers and reduce friction among team members.
- Promote work-life balance
Not letting work seep into the personal lives of employees by reducing the possibility of them doing overtime. Leaving work at a reasonable time helps them attend to their personal lives. This creates a balance where work will stay in the workplace and not interfere with their time when they’re at home.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, the demands of having a career and maintaining a life outside of work may become blurred. However, companies nowadays are looking for ways to help employees deal with stress and reduce the risk of them having fatigue, burnout, and breakdowns. Prioritizing their physical and mental well-being through solutions such as vacation time, weekly meetings, open communication, balanced workload, and adhering to schedules will provide a healthy mixture of workplace settings, and establish a great work-life balance.