Stress, disillusionment, aggravation, these are just some of the things employees may experience while at work. In fact, it is quite normal to experience moderate amounts of such feelings on a daily basis. Many are able to deal and manage these feelings appropriately, but when those feelings cross the line into burnout, it can be dangerously detrimental not only to those employees who suffer from it, but also to a company.
Many might think that burnout is a personal problem that should be handled by the person suffering from it. However, as the world enters the digital age and more demands are being made of employees in an “always on” environment, burnout is becoming a very real problem in the workplace that employers need to address.
According to the Mayo Clinic, burnout is described as a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion, combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.
Unfortunately, a recent report from staffing firm Robert Half, has compiled some concerning data regarding the issue. According to the data, some 96 per cent of senior managers today report that their employees are experiencing some degree of burnout. The sooner that companies get ahead of this problem, the better equipped they will be to help their employees work through the issues.
Predicting when an employee will experience a burnout is no easy task. Signs of burnout are often subtle, and the stigma around the issue often prevents said employees from coming out to talk about their problems. According to Robert Half, some common factors that point to impending burnout include unmanageable workloads, career stagnation, constant interruptions, toxic work culture, and dated technology. All of the above can be intervened to life some of the burden of employees.
Overworked employees can be helped by increasing support staff or bringing in temporary workers. Try sitting down with employees to discuss their desired career paths. See what they enjoy about their current roles, and what skills they’re eager to expand on. Be willing to invest in said skill development as well.
Persistent interruptions, meanwhile, can be solved for by letting employees work from home, at least on a partial basis. Designating “quiet areas” within the office can help as well, as can making private offices with doors available to workers on an as-needed basis. Reassess company workforce and culture to figure out where problems stem from. If many employees are suffering from the toxicity of a few individuals, it might be better to be rid of the few even if they are in senior positions.
Finally, invest in technology that allows your employees to do their jobs effectively. The digital age is coming and there is no stopping it. Employees will want to get their job done as quick and efficiently as possible. If they do not have the adequate tools, frustration will surely build.
If you want to avoid suffering the consequences of employee burnout, get ahead of the problem. In addition to the steps mentioned, investing in employee wellness programs is a smart idea. These programs could help your workers lower their stress and find ways to cope with challenges so they’re more content and less strung out on a whole.