Burnout is common among American workers. Many people are given too much responsibility and stress to manage. While they might be able to get by for a while with good performance, they can’t keep it up forever. Eventually, burnout sets in and productivity diminishes.
Burned-out employees are unhappy and stressed. Not only does this affect their health and well-being, but it could lead to them leaving their job for a less stressful position. Employers must pay attention to employee workloads in order to retain their best people and prevent burnout.
So, how do you balance the daily work that needs to get done with the mental and physical health of your workers? Here are some tips.
Employee Workload and the Fight Against Employee Fatigue
Employee fatigue is a huge problem. Although people might think they are more productive when they work more hours, they are actually more likely to experience cognitive decline. In fact, one National Safety Council survey found that 69% of the American workforce has experienced cognitive decline at work due to fatigue.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been somewhat mitigated by vaccines, there are still many external stressors that are causing increased fatigue among workers. The ripple effects of the pandemic continue, even among those who are employed.
Fatigue can occur for a variety of reasons. People who work from home often work more than they did when they were going into the office every day. Additional responsibilities at home, worry and fear, and other stressors of daily life take their toll. And on top of that, many employees are being asked to take on more work than ever as workforces have been cut.
Fighting against employee fatigue can be a challenge. But as an employer, it’s important to do your part in preventing fatigue and burnout.
How to Help Your Employees Rest & Recharge
Expectations are key in managing employee fatigue. If people think they will be punished in some way for taking time off or even clocking out at a reasonable hour, they are likely to work too much and burn out over time.
Many people are afraid of losing their jobs if they say no to extra work or don’t go “above and beyond.” But boundaries are important for managing work stress, especially in virtual offices.
While it might seem counterintuitive at first, encouraging people to take time off to recharge is a good business decision. People need rest to work at their peak. They need to really unplug from the office and get time away to take care of themselves and their loved ones.
So, how do you encourage people to get enough rest? Well, you need to make sure that their workloads are reasonable. They need to be able to take time off and know that they won’t come back to an avalanche of emails.
Creating systems to manage people taking time off is key for creating a culture of balance. Clarity goes a long way! People need to know they can take time off and not worry about being punished for doing so.
It’s also important to lead by example. Managers should be encouraged to take time off and to unplug from the office. No one should be rewarded for checking emails constantly outside of work or putting in excessive hours.
Employee Development: How to Support & Inspire Your Employees
Burnout and fatigue are often linked to feeling like what you do at work don’t matter. It’s important to keep employees motivated and growth-minded, in addition to providing enough opportunities for rest.
Supporting your employees means providing opportunities for growth, development, and job enrichment. People enjoy stretching themselves and learning new skills. They appreciate the opportunity to gain new career skills as they work.
There are many ways to inspire your employees, but providing development options shows that you’re willing to invest in them. It shows that they matter to you as more than just a cog in the machine. You can truly inspire your employees by seeing them as the individuals they are and by assisting them in building their careers.
In addition to preventing fatigue and burnout, professional development inspires loyalty. People are much more likely to stay with an employer who has treated them well and invested in their success. Plus, you will end up with a more skilled and motivated workforce.
Fatigue and burnout have a huge negative impact on employee morale, in addition to impacting productivity. Unhappy people are more likely to complain, gossip, call out sick, and quit. By focusing on the health and well-being of your workforce, you will naturally create a healthier, more positive company culture.
When you really stop and think about it, preventing fatigue and burnout is really a win-win. You don’t have to choose between the well-being of your employees and the success of your business. Focusing on keeping your team healthy and happy is likely to lead you to greater success!