Reducing Employee Burnout

August 15th, 2017

Burnout saps efficiency, damages your workplace culture, and leads to expensive and time-consuming employee turnover. According to studies quoted by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) “between 26-41% of employees feel their job is stressful or extremely stressful or that they are often or very often burned out by work.

Learning to recognize the signs of burnout and managing the problem can lower employee turnover and increase workplace productivity. Here are some major signs your workplace is adding to employee stress and strategies for making improvements:

Work-Life Balance is Off.

Everyone needs to maintain a balance between work and life to stay on an even keel. When your employees don’t have enough time away from work this balance can suffer.

Habits like working too many hours a day or too many days a week without taking time off can wear your employees down over time. Sometimes time off isn’t time off, employees who take work home or are expected to be available for phone calls and e-mails at all hours can get stressed as well.

Monitor the hours per week and days per week your employees are working. Make sure they are getting time off even if you have to encourage them. Limit after-hours communication, and if you have to have people on call after normal work hours make sure you are sharing the load and giving everyone free nights where they aren’t expected to pick up a phone.

Employees Need the Right Tool for The Job.

How often do you replace your workplace tools and equipment? Are your employees being asked to use clunky old electronics that run slow, are inefficient, or worse have started developing habitual screen freeze?

According to Amy Blackburn, “not only does the equipment’s performance reflect poorly on the employee’s production, but the failure of management to recognize the need to upgrade can also create an air of helplessness. Frustration with equipment can be one of the first symptoms of burnout, and solving this problem can alleviate work-related stressors tremendously.”

Making sure your employees’ equipment is up to date and effectively working solves two problems. It eliminates the stress from dealing with faulty equipment, and showing you are paying attention lets your staff know you are invested in them.

Don’t Ask Too Much – Or Too Little

When employees feel overwhelmed by a never ending mountain of work they start to suffer from burnout. Make sure you communicate about workload often. If your employees are complaining about never ending tasks, or saying they are afraid to take a day off because they know the pile of jobs waiting for them will be impossible to deal with they need help.

Likewise, an employee can be bored at work by performing tasks that are too easy for their skill level. An engineer who is catching customer service calls is going to be interested in new opportunities elsewhere.

An employee who is devoting all their time to low-level tasks can start feeling underappreciated and out of the loop. Making sure everyone is involved, and the workload is shared evenly can lower stress. Assign your employees tasks that will push their existing skill-set. Rotate tedious work so everyone can try something new.

If you’ve your current workplace is too stressful, and you need to make a change, contact Olympic Staffing. We can help you find employees with the current skills, abilities, and education level to take on the mountain of work you have built up.

Leave a Reply