Becoming burnt out in the workplace is not uncommon, especially in organizations with busy seasons, pressure to hit financial goals, or get a product out the door with a strict deadline. Those are just a few examples, but in reality, employee burnout happens in any organization for many underlying reasons. It is the organization’s duty to employees to be proactive and encourage an environment that decreases the likelihood of employee burnout.
A 2016 study by Kronos Inc. and Future Workplace found that employee burnout has reached record levels and is sabotaging workplace retention. The impact burnout can have on organizations is significant and can result in lower productivity, decreased engagement, and high turnover. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent burnout or bounce back from the physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion of burnout in an organization.
Vacation time and PTO exist for a reason. Employees need to physically and mentally take breaks from work throughout the year in order to unplug, recharge, and keep productiveness steady. Encourage employees to use their allotted vacation time and improve their work/life balance.
Don’t just encourage the work/life balance, organization leaders must live it. Don’t force all employees to come in or leave at the same time. Some individuals work best first thing in the morning at 8 am, while others are most productive at 10 am. If a company allows for flexible scheduling, implement it, or make use of telecommuting if the right technology is available. Promoting balance also includes small decisions that go a long way. Shut down early before holidays or allow an early dismissal on Friday’s during the summer.
Allow 1 At-Home Day
Allowing employees to take a break from the office bustle to have a day of solidarity and productivity can go a long way for multiple reasons. Some companies reward employees on Wednesday’s as a mid-week ‘hump day’ reward, to stay at home instead of battling traffic and dealing with office distractions. This not only shows trust in employees to be productive, but allows people to work in peace and quiet especially when working in an open floor plan where distractions can exist.
Exercise and mental health have become buzz words in organizational wellness plans. This goes hand in hand with promoting work/life balance, but cultivating and providing avenues for employees to exercise to reduce stress, stay healthy, or practice mindfulness can result in higher productivity and performance. Some employers have seen success in encouraging exercise through group classes, gym membership reimbursements, or allowing employees to take a longer lunch during the middle of the day to exercise. Cultivating wellness also includes encouraging healthier eating habits, providing access to farm shares, or providing benefits that reward for healthy habits.