20 Apr 10 tips to avoid employee burnout in your company
What is burnout syndrome?
Burnout syndrome is the result of chronic stress linked to work. It can cause physical and emotional exhaustion. It is generally connected to overworking, conflicts with coworkers, and fears of being laid off.
This syndrome can result in psychological and physical consequences that reduce one’s professional efficiency which could put them at risk of losing their job. Burnout can cause you to become mentally distanced from your work or begin to have negative feelings about your job.
As for the company, having team members with burnout syndrome can result in both deterioration of communication and interpersonal relationships, as well as increased absenteeism.
In the times of the pandemic, the number of burnout cases have increased. This is a trend that cannot be ignored or avoided by companies.
But what can be done to prevent burnout syndrome?
Factors that can trigger burnout syndrome in employees must be identified in order to find the root cause of this syndrome.
It is important to note that overworking or feeling frustrated are not the only causes of burnout. For some workers, they may feel confident about their job but day by day they begin to have more anxieties, start losing motivation and creativity. Perhaps someone who loves their job goes from loving it to hating but they can’t figure out why.
Workers who really enjoy their job might turn into workaholics, have trouble separating themselves from their job and therefore don’t go on vacation, they might miss family events and don’t take time to relax and disconnect from their work. This can be very harmful as well.
Sociocultural factors: burnout is more frequent in professionals who are in direct contact with people, such as teachers or health workers. In general, the resources allocated to these areas are insufficient. This can cause conflicts as the employees providing the service are pressured with high expectations yet they don’t receive many benefits. If the people who benefit from the service complain about the staff then this can cause tensions and lower a worker’s motivation.
Personal factors: There are some personalities that are more prone to burnouts. One example might be a person who is very self-critical and very demanding of themself which can cause unmanageable levels of stress. Another personality type could be someone with low self-esteem as they are already anxious and burnout is more likely to be triggered.
Organizational factors: this is the most determining factor in the occurrence of burnout syndrome. Work overload, lack of rewards, conflicts between colleagues, or lack of communication are some situations that can increase the risk of burnout.
Symptoms of burnout
Analyzing and recognizing the symptoms of burnout syndrome is the first step in preventing burnout in your team. In order to maintain a healthy work environment, these symptoms must be detected as soon as possible, in order to begin treatment.
On a mental level, someone will be more irritable, more prone to anxiety attacks and may feel apathetic or pessimistic. This can cause one to be more forgetful or less able to fully concentrate which will lower their level of productivity. It could even lead to depression. It’s common for a person with burnout syndrome to begin to distance themselves from others and may start avoiding social interactions.
On a physical level, burnout can cause insomnia, headaches, fatigue, increased drug or alcohol use, muscle pain, and loss of appetite or overeating. It can go so far as to lead to strokes, heart attacks or suicide.
Burnout will affect how someone does their job before the possible physical and mental effects begin. A person may start calling out sick more or arriving late to work more frequently or they may find that they are just doing the bare minimum and not reaching the expectations set by their employer.
This syndrome is damaging not only to the worker but also the company. If a case is discovered, it is imperative that a solution is found to prevent it from worsening.
Tips to avoid burnout
The earlier that burnout symptoms have been recognized, the easier it is to treat it. These tips for employers can help improve the mental state of workers and prevent emotional exhaustion:
- Be realistic when assigning tasks: when assigning work, make sure that the amount of work is stimulating but not excessive. One person shouldn’t be juggling too many tasks for them to handle.
- Have a flexible schedule: workers need to be able to disconnect from their jobs. Be sensible with rest days and vacations.
- Encourage rests: encourage employees to take breaks. For example, to go for short walks or take an hour for lunch. This can improve productivity and allow the worker to be more motivated to work.
- Have realistic objectives: if there is a target that is poorly assigned or unrealistic, be open to changing the person performing the task or extending the deadline.
- Don’t be too demanding: lower the amount of tasks that you assign to your team. If they are trying to do too many things at once, it can result in low quality results and higher stress levels.
- Be specific with roles: define what each worker has to do and what is specifically expected of them.
- Supply resources: provide employees with the correct tools or adequate funds for the best possible execution of their work.
- Provide continuous training: constant training such as seminars or online courses give workers the chance to update their knowledge and learn new skills.
- Have open ears: listen to what your workforce has to say. Get to know them on a more personal level and create stronger bonds which will lower tension levels. Be open to helping solve any concerns that they may have.
- Plan team building events: organizing exciting and fun company activities helps employees let loose but also allows the team to bond. This can be a potential motivation for workers to reach goals if team events are rewarded.
Without employees, there is no company. Their well-being must be ensured in order to maintain a company’s competitiveness.