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How to Reduce Employee Burnout in the Workplace

As a business owner, you know better than anyone just how important your employees are to your company's success. You may give them guidelines to align them with your vision, but they are the ones who implement it. Ultimately, the success of your products or services, as well as your company’s customer satisfaction, are driven by your employees’ day-to-day interactions.

Unfortunately, your staff members can burn out, making you lose efficient or talented workers causing profits to bleed through excessive turnover. The question is, can you effectively reduce employee burnout and lower employee attrition and unnecessary losses?

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Two colleagues discussing a work project in a crunch culture.How to Create a Supportive Work Environment

The last few years of unpredictability and stress not only dealing with the pandemic but also facing a fast-changing market has maxed out many employees’ resiliency. Let’s focus on what you can do to help your workforce remain healthy individuals, which will naturally reward you with higher employee productivity and retention.

The first way to reduce employee burnout.
Be More Lenient Towards Time-Off 
and Paid Leave Requests

Emotional well-being and mental health are crucial for your employees. Although you may not choose to grant every time-off request, you can positively influence your employees’ well-being with a caring approach.

Being understanding when an employee asks for time off or a vacation is a great starter. Get curious. The request may be flexible or urgent; try to accommodate appropriately. Perhaps a family member had an accident, and they want to be there to support and care for them. Or someone just did a crunch to get the latest project out the door, and a day off is a much-needed recuperation. Or they are showing signs of burnout, and it is in your best interest to let them recharge.

Denying needed downtime can discourage employees and decrease productivity while setting them on the road to burnout. Investing in your employees with paid time off may reduce the chances of losing your skilled employee. After all, productivity rises in a positive workplace where employees feel cared for and valued.

Yet, a company’s health is important, too, and the work must get done and customer orders fulfilled. Find the balance between supporting your employees’ needs, covering the work, and being generous when a company’s profits soar. 

Related reading:4 Things Gen Z and Millennials Expect from their Workplace.”

The second way to reduce employee burnout.
Treat Every Instance of Discrimination
in the Workplace Seriously

According to a recent survey, over half of employees have experienced some kind of harassment at their current workplace. The causes tend to differ, although the most prevalent discrimination seems to be motivated by gender, religion, race, and sexual orientation, respectively. That’s not to say these are the only forms you as an employer should keep an eye on. Cases such as disability or weight harassment in the workplace can be equally devastating and need to be addressed.

Having a low-tolerance policy for harassment is critical to creating a workplace culture where people feel safe, do their best work, and teams can thrive. By having high standards in workplace equality, the environment will naturally be more welcoming. However, differences do arise, so quickly resolve workplace conflicts or disagreements caused by personality differences.

A human resources woman presenting on discrimination policies in the workplace.Educate your workforce about the repercussions posed by any kind of discrimination. Define and develop specific policies focused solely on how to deal with discrimination cases, making sure that all employees are fully informed. Once you do, be swift and decisive in your response to any discrimination. Also, consider providing counseling services or on-site coaching for employees as needed.

A safe, open, and accepting workplace attracts talent, diversity, and high performance.

Deep dive:How to Tackle Inequality in the Workplace.”

The third way to reduce employee burnout.


Provide Your Employees Opportunities
to Grow Professionally

Providing your employees with opportunities to grow professionally is a must in this market. As a consultant, a complaint I often hear from employees is their frustration with unclear paths or limits to advancement.

Being stuck in the same position for years doing identical tasks with no chance of progressing can be a great demotivator to your staff members and contribute to burnout. Millennials tend to enter a workplace focused on improving themselves and polishing their professional skills. Why not give all your employees opportunities to excel by investing in their growth? It will benefit your company and keep them more content through learning and development.

Send your employees to seminars, emotional intelligence training, and online courses to fine-tune their job skills. Or hire coaches to enhance employees' self-awareness and satisfy their desire to learn and improve. It’s not only healthy for them but for your business too—it’s a win-win! Your business gets more efficient while the risks of burnout decrease.

The fourth way to help diminish employee burnout.


Get Rid of the Crunch Culture

A term we’ve heard more about lately is crunch and the crunch culture. Of course, every company has its critical times when it’s all hands on deck. However, if crunch times become the norm, it’s exhausting and will eventually undermine your company’s health. Constant overtime with unrealistic time frames to accomplish the work is a practice that can have devastating effects on the well-being of your employees.

While big pushes to meet tight timelines can be beneficial in the short term, prolonged work intensity will significantly heighten the chances of burnout. Crunch culture can also result in workers simply leaving your company for another job with better work conditions. Replacing the crunch culture in your workplace with reasonable expectations and programs to support your employees will create a far better balance.

A team working on a marketing proposal with charts and a computer.You can transition this practice with extended planning and realistic expectations of the number of commissions you can accomplish. If it is impossible to decrease the workload, extend the deadlines or increase the workforce so that your company can deliver results without sacrificing employees’ health. When overtime is necessary, allow it to be voluntary with higher pay whenever possible, so your employees feel rewarded for their dedication and efforts.

Also, be alert for employees who are people-pleasers and tend to over-give at their own expense. They tend to resent their choices later. When you look out for an employee’s well-being, even when they don’t, they will be loyal and champion your company’s reputation.

Related reading: "How to Take Care of Your Greatest Resource in Business."

The fifth way to sharpen performance and decrease employee burnout.


Create a Positive Work Environment

The way your workspace feels has an enormous impact on the psyche of your staff members. Standard cubicles filled with the constant droning of fax machines and telephones are not conducive to the well-being of your employees. Instead, try to make your workplace aesthetically pleasing and supportive. Introduce as much sunlight as possible, either with daylight or daylight bulbs for the wide benefits. What’s more, if possible, give your staff a recreation area to unwind during their breaks. Even a small office room with a pool table and a video game console might suffice as a gesture of goodwill and a good start.

While there’s no perfect way to prevent employee burnout, the measures highlighted above can assist you in keeping your workforce motivated and well-adjusted. By taking care of your employees, the chances of employees burning out can be dramatically decreased. And everyone will be happier and more efficient as a result.

Related reading: "Successful Companies Are Led by Empathetic Culture."

Heartmanity specializes in equipping leaders and teams with emotional intelligence and helping companies to create thriving company cultures. Contact us today!

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Jennifer A. Williams / Heartmanity for BusinessJennifer A. Williams / Heartmanity for Business
Jennifer, the Heartmanity Founder, is an Executive Coach and Relationship Strategist. Her decades of expertise in training leaders and teams give her amazing insights. Jennifer's primary focuses are authentic leadership, effective communication, and emotional intelligence in the workplace. Jennifer teaches a holistic approach, specializing in transforming unproductive behaviors into emotionally intelligent actions, which creates thriving work relationships and catapults a company to success.

Posted in Business and Leadership

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