5 Ways to Limit the Financial and Mental Burden of Burnout
Employee burnout is at an all-time high, with over 40% of workers reporting poor mental health as they struggle with work-related pressures.
In some cases, this pressure is driving employees to quit. According to one survey, 70% of those experiencing burnout say they’d consider leaving their job because of it.
Given how difficult it is to fill positions and find talent, employers can’t afford to turn a blind eye to the costs of burnout. Not only does it increase health spending and turnover, but it also significantly impacts productivity and company culture.
Preventing employee burnout
The first step to preventing burnout is learning to spot it. While not a medical condition, burnout can affect physical and mental health by unnecessarily increasing stress levels. Employees who are experiencing burnout may be more critical, irritable, and harder to work with. In more extreme cases, people with burnout may start to abuse alcohol and drugs.
Burnout is not the exhaustion an employee might feel after working hard for a short period of time. Instead, it occurs when an employee has been consistently overworked for a long period of time, typically at least a few months. It’s up to managers to identify when this is happening and quickly take steps to reduce their workload.
1. Be Proactive
Managers should be keeping a close eye on their team’s metrics and noticing patterns before anyone goes off track. They can then use that information for individual coaching or one-on-one feedback meetings to discover how they can help those employees better manage their tasks and time. Stress can’t be totally eliminated, but knowing your team and personalizing their coaching can keep it from becoming unmanageable.
2. Communicate Effectively
Make sure your channels of communication are open so workers know they can come to you when they feel overwhelmed. A lot of stress is caused by avoidable miscommunication, so try to model a ‘servant leadership’ approach where your door is always open and you show employees empathy, trust, and respect.
3. Recognize that Productivity Peaks and Wanes
Expecting your employees to be constantly ‘on’ can contribute to their stress. Humans have limited attention and can only focus effectively for short periods of time. This doesn’t mean your employees should sit around doing nothing, of course, but good leaders help their team practice effective time management - knowing when to schedule ‘deep work’ projects and when to tackle more routine tasks such as replying to emails or organizing files.
4. Delegate Better
If you’re constantly relying on your high-performers, you’re putting them at risk of burnout.
Help these star workers by delegating more efficiently - giving tasks to team members according to their skills and getting your top performers to train others so they can hand off work when necessary.
5. Be Generous with Mental Health Days and Build Them into Sick Leave
Make sure your employees know they can take time away from the office when they need it, setting out clear policies around PTO and mental health leave. You may want to consider adding a few mental health days into your organization’s sick leave program - making sure that you respect your employee’s privacy and don’t require an explanation for taking those days. If your team takes the maximum amount of sick leave, don’t penalize them for it. That creates a chilling effect where others are more reticent to take the time they need.
Prodoscore: Identify Who is At Risk of Burnout
Spotting burnout can be difficult in an office, but it’s even more challenging when your team works remotely. Employee productivity monitoring solution Prodoscore visualizes how employees engage with cloud-based company tools to build a picture of how they work. This gives managers accurate and timely data about individual workloads, time management, and team collaboration.
Transparent and non-invasive, Prodoscore is ideal for managers of remote and isolated teams, helping them stay alert to signs of burnout and effectively coach their workers.