Employee burnout is a growing problem that affects both employees and organizations. Many employers may unknowingly be contributing to the problem, resulting in decreased productivity and unhappy employees. Managers who are not aware of the actual workload and expectations they are setting can create a situation where employees are more likely to experience burnout.
While the signs of burnout might not always be obvious, the impact is undeniable. Reduced performance, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates are just a few of the consequences. As responsible employers, we have to acknowledge our role in our employees’ well-being and take immediate action.
5 Signs of employee burnout
- Physical exhaustion
- Emotional drain
- Reduced productivity
- Increased absenteeism
If you notice any of these signs, take action to help your employees recover.
How to extinguish burnout
As a manager, you can prevent and address employee burnout by creating a supportive work environment and by showing empathy. When employees believe that you care and know that you take action, they will feel less overwhelmed. Through our research, we have uncovered 8 ways to extinguish burnout:
Make sure the lines of communication are open
In our survey on company culture of more than 900 healthcare professionals, we found that those who felt like they could openly communicate with management, and who also had clear expectations set by their superiors had a better outlook on their company culture. Over 80% of those people felt that they had a healthy work-life balance.
Encouraging open communication with your team will pay off. Employees should be made aware that they can talk about their issues and workload without fear of retaliation. Regular check-ins with employees can help you understand their stress levels and provide appropriate support.
Make sure workloads are realistic
Our survey found that over 90% of behavioral healthcare workers reported having realistic workloads and expectations. The majority of respondents also agreed that they were very satisfied or satisfied with their company culture. Providing employees with manageable and realistic workloads can lead to increased employee satisfaction and reduced stress. Delegate tasks to equipped employees, and consider redistributing work if you see your employees falling behind or struggling.
Prioritize flexible work schedules
Offering flexible work arrangements can help employees maintain a healthier work-life balance by allowing them to have more control over their schedules. This can include options such as working from home, flextime, and compressed workweeks. They can also help employees better manage personal obligations that may be impacting their stress. According to Flexjobs, “Research indicates that offering flexible work increases job satisfaction and lowers burnout.”
Praise your employees well and often
Employees’ efforts should be recognized and appreciated to improve morale and motivation. A simple “thank you” or acknowledgment of a job well done can make employees feel appreciated and valued. It can also help to create a more positive and productive work environment.
You can recognize your employees in person, through email, or even on social media. You can also give them public recognition, such as at a company meeting or in a newsletter. Whatever you do, make sure it is sincere and heartfelt.
When you recognize and appreciate your employees, you are showing them that you value their contributions. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty. It can also help to attract and retain top talent.
Invest in their professional future
Investing in your employees shows that you care about them. Training equips employees with new skills, making them feel more confident in their abilities. With increased confidence, employees are better prepared to handle their work, reducing feelings of stress.
Foster wellness within the workplace
Consider implementing workplace wellness programs that focus on physical and mental well-being. This could include yoga classes, stress management workshops, or access to counseling services. Teach employees effective coping strategies to deal with stress and challenges. Armed with these tools, they can navigate difficult situations without feeling emotionally drained.
Let them know it’s OK to take a break
Encouraging your employees to take regular breaks throughout the day is a great way to help them recharge and maintain focus. There are many different ways to take short breaks, so encourage your employees to find what works best for them. Some ideas include taking a walk outside, stretching, listening to music, or simply getting up and moving around.
Promote real work-life balance
One of the main causes of burnout is a lack of work-life balance. As a manager, you can help to promote work-life balance by:
- Setting boundaries: Encourage employees to set boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid sending work-related emails or messages outside of working hours.
- Vacation and time off: Encourage employees to use their vacation time and make sure they feel comfortable taking time off when needed.
- Lead by example: Show your team that you prioritize work-life balance by practicing it yourself.
Remember, employee burnout is a serious issue that affects both employees and the company. As a responsible manager, taking care of your team is not just a nice thing to do; it’s a smart business move. Happy employees mean a more productive and successful organization.
Help your employees beat burnout
Your business is only as good as your people, and we know just how hard it is to find the right people in the behavioral healthcare industry. When dealing with sensitive and personal issues like mental health or substance abuse, not just any employee will do.
Jordan and Associates Consulting specializes in behavioral health recruiting and will be your trusted partner in hiring the right people. If you have a good team in place, we can offer coaching and training on admissions, referrals, and other critical aspects of the behavioral healthcare industry.