Your employees start to feel burned out when the stress of their jobs goes on for too long. Many factors can lead to your employees feeling burned out. Considering that 40% of employees have considered quitting their jobs due to burnout, it is imperative that employers do everything they can to avoid this. If you think your employees might be nearing that point, here are four steps you can take to reduce the stress and increase your employee retention.
Set Reasonable Work-Hour Standards
While the 40-hour, 9-5 work week has become something a standard for most companies and industries, it doesn’t actually suit the needs of everyone. Unless you’re working in customer service or coordinating in large teams, it doesn’t particularly matter what time your employees show up as long as they get the work done by the time it needs to be. If an employee needs to come in earlier, it may make sense to let them do so as opposed to having them come strictly at the same time everyone else is. Also be aware that while not all breaks are federally mandated, working for 8-hours straight with no breaks is fundamentally unhealthy and unproductive. Everyone needs breaks to let their mind and body recharge, and if you don’t provide those, then you’ll face increased rates of burnout as well as a major decrease in productivity as the day goes on. Do some research into what others in your industry are doing and find ways to ensure that the mental and physical needs of your employees are being met.
Give Them the Right Resources
Sometimes, employees get burned out because they don’t have all the resources they need. It might be that you’re expecting them to work on antiquated equipment or that they need more training and better management techniques. Hiring professional management development services can help with the latter, giving your teams the training they need to manage themselves and those working under them more effectively. You can also provide special training resources to teach them skills that relate to their career goals beyond their current positions, giving them that sense of growth and fulfilment that they may be craving from their position.
Doing the same task every day all day can be tiring, especially in terms of keeping your employees mentally engaged. While you may prefer to keep everyone specialized in their own task, it can be beneficial to break up the workday with different tasks. This can be accomplished by varying the things that each employee is in charge of, or by allowing employees to use their downtime to help other departments. This change in pace can help keep their minds fresh and engaged, and also improve the quality of work as they are able to disengage and recharge for certain responsibilities.
Employers often expect more from their best employees, but forget the pay increase that usually comes with the increased responsibility. While your employees may seem satisfied with how things are, you don’t want someone being paid the same as an employee who has less on their plate than they do, as that can make your best employees feel undervalued. Rewarding them doesn’t have to cost a lot, either. If you don’t want a position and pay increase to be your incentive, you can give prizes for high quality work, such as movie tickets, increased PTO, or gift cards. The point is they need to know that you appreciate them and that you acknowledge their excellence. Doing so can make all the difference, especially when the workload can’t be lightened due to an employee shortage.
If your employees feel burned out, you’re not going to get the best work you can from them. You also run the risk of losing them due to the stress you put on them. Fortunately, many ways exist to help you sidestep the burnout process in your employees, like offering them flexibility, professional development, and many rewards. While these steps may cost you extra money in the short-run, they will net you happier and more productive employees in the long-run and increase the health and longevity of your company.
Wonderful article Aaron. You know what, sometimes I feel exhausted not because of extra work but because of the timing. Sometimes my institution wants me to work at night but I have a kid at my home. My bosses are wonderful but they are not always flexible. As you said, flexibility would improve the condition. If they were, my job would be more lovable. Thanks for your article, I hope managers will follow your suggestions.