Employees’ well-being and engagement are imperative to the success of any company or organisation. Still, with the financial and social stresses brought on by COVID-19 and new Brexit rules, recent studies have shown that UK workers are now increasingly threatened by employee burnout.
But what exactly is “Burnout” syndrome? Burnout is defined as a response to prolonged exposure to stresses such as a highly-pressured environment, conflict or overload that results in feelings of exhaustion, cynicism, anxiety and inefficacy.
Furthermore, a recent Microsoft study found that 61% of workplace leaders had failed to recognise the signs of stress or burnout from employees and risk high turnover or low productivity.
This article explores the most common challenges that employees face in today’s world and offers some practical tips for managers to prevent their staff from employee burnout.
The Most Common Causes of Employee Burnout in the Workplace
Building Trust With Employees
Since working from home became the new norm at the start of the pandemic, two-thirds of employers do not trust their staff when it comes to working remotely, while nearly two-fifths (39 per cent) said they believed their staff do not work as hard or effectively at home. This can often lead to relationship breakdowns and puts a strain on both managers and employees.
It is therefore important for managers to:
- Offer trust and support to employees
- Listen and respond to any employee queries or concerns
- Offer help wherever necessary
- Use tools such as performance management software to help measure well-being and offer advice on what improvements to make.
A recent study has shown that people working more than 54 hours a week are at major risk of dying from overworking.
Employees will often find it difficult to express if they’re feeling overworked. If you can see that an employee is stretching their work hours, or has a lot of work to contend with, now is the time to start delegating more work to other staff members.
Some work may be better off in other areas, and some employees may enjoy a new challenge. This will allow employees who are pushed for deadlines to focus on the task at hand.
Why not offer an employee the opportunity to work from home or to configure their hours? We all have personal lives. Therefore, enabling employees to adjust their work hours/workdays or change their office setting accordingly encourages motivation and allows them to fit in important appointments — such as medical appointments or family commitments.
Encourage Employees to take Annual Leave
Encouraging employees to take annual leave is fundamental to their health, and it helps them organise for the year ahead, which is beneficial for everyone’s calendars. Employees shouldn’t feel obligated to the company and should be reassured that another staff member will cover their work while they are away.
Organise One-to-One meetings with Employees
Employers are encouraged to offer trust and support to employees and make themselves available to listen to any concerns or ideas. One-to-one meetings are essential to establish a healthy manager-employee relationship, which will benefit the company in the long run.
The key elements to take away from this article
- Burnout is most commonly caused by pressure, overworking, lack of support from colleagues or managers.
- Burnout can be prevented — an understanding of what causes job burnout will allow for a happy, healthy and productive workplace for all employees.
Having led Advanced’s own transformation in his previous role as Director of Talent & Reward, Nick Gallimore now provides Talent Management expertise across Talent Acquisition, Learning, Performance Management and Reward for Clear Review, the UK’s leading performance management platform.