It's no secret that corporate burnout is a genuine issue in the modern workplace. With more and more employees feeling overwhelmed by their workload, employers need to recognize the signs of burnout before it sets in.
Burnout is a dangerous reality that renders employees emotionally spent and unable to function effectively at work and in life. It reduces productivity and can also be detrimental to motivation levels, instilling feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and resentment, which could lead to longer-lasting emotional issues.
Although burnout can mean various things, creating an atmosphere that prioritizes mental health and wellness can go a long way for any employee.
Here are four small tips that can make a big difference in curbing burnout in your workplace.
1. Encourage Breaks
Working too hard for too long can quickly lead to burnout. To ensure employees don't feel pressured to work at full throttle constantly, employers need to encourage their employees to take regular breaks throughout the day.
This could be as simple as encouraging workers to step away from their desks for 5–10 minutes or having a designated break room where they can relax and recharge. Not only does this allow someone to destress and refocus, but it can help them feel more productive when they return to their tasks.
It can be even trickier for employers with remote and hybrid workers to spot signs of burnout. Often employees can feel pressured to constantly be online and active, ready to reply at a moment's notice to any instant message or email.
By building a work culture that promotes flexibility, your employees will feel more empowered to take a step away from the keyboard when needed.
2. Foster Open Communication
Another way leaders can help their teams avoid burnout is by creating an environment of open communication. Open communication allows employees to feel comfortable expressing their concerns and needs without fear of judgment.
Suppose an employee feels they can be upfront about the stress of a particular objective. In that case, there's a greater chance they will feel comfortable asking for help on re-distributing their workload or re-aligning expectations.
Try setting up regular one-on-ones with team members so they can discuss any issues they may be facing. One-on-ones can allow you to connect directly with your team members and offer targeted help, guidance, or resources like mental health support if needed.
By fostering an environment of trust and understanding, employees will feel safe enough to share how they genuinely feel - which is crucial to preventing burnout in the first place.
3. Focus on Self-Care
Employers should also focus on promoting self-care practices among their team members - both in and outside the office.
This could include implementing simple strategies, such as providing healthy snacks at work or encouraging everyone to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day (even if it means taking a walk around the office during lunch breaks).
However, if you’re hoping to implement more effective change, consider creating and implementing a fair flex day policy for your team.
Offering your employees the occasional day to rest and recharge is one of the best ways to support team members who may be silently struggling.
By offering mental health days to employees who need them, you'll be acknowledged internally as a company that prioritizes and protects its people and culture. Not only does this improve morale, but it reduces the likelihood of burnout on your team.
4. Recognize a job well done
With your daily workload, it can be easy to overlook your team's contributions.
A recent study suggests that employees who feel undervalued at their organization are 'twice as likely' to suffer from poor mental health.
Peer recognition can drastically help boost self-esteem while simultaneously improving employee retention in the long term.
To prevent this common issue at your workplace, we recommend that when checking in with your team, you provide thoughtful praise and feedback during status update meetings and performance reviews.
A personal kudos on a team call or sending a kind instant message requires little effort but can substantially impact your employees.
Although many workers struggle with burnout, you can help eliminate it before it affects your employees by implementing these small changes. From encouraging regular breaks throughout the day to fostering open communication, prioritizing your employee's mental health demonstrates their value to your company.
Taking small steps to improve work-life balance can help ensure your team stays healthy, productive - and, most importantly, happy.