Burnout is a common problem that can cause serious problems for your business, including a rise in absenteeism and a decrease in productivity. Historically, burnout also causes higher job turnover rates, and although that may not be an issue in today's tough job market, employees who do stick around have lower engagement levels in the workplace. This translates into lower morale and decreased quality of customer service, and these effects mean financial losses for your business.
So what can you do about it? Follow these tips to prevent employee burnout before you incur losses you cannot afford.
Employees are less engaged when someone else is largely in charge of the way they work. Less engagement means more burnout, so stop micromanaging your employees. Let them know that if they come to you with a problem, they should also offer at least a few possible solutions. Make yourself less available at times so your employees are forced to resolve issues on their own, and count to ten before you want to jump in and rescue them. In just a few more seconds, your employees will likely arrive at a resolution themselves.
Don't Encourage Burnout
Put official policies on the books for your business that encourage healthy behaviors, such as getting regular exercise, eating well and even breaking for short mental health refreshers throughout the day. Be an example to your employees, take care of yourself, take a step back when needed and allow your team to do the same when necessary.
When you are hiring a new person or considering promoting a team member, think about their personality traits in addition to their experience and skills. Look for candidates who can prioritize and multitask with ease. These are the employees who can handle rapid-fire demands from all directions without suffering from burnout, and you want them on your team.
Communicate with Your Staff
Your employees should feel that they can talk to you about workplace issues before they reach the burnout point of no return. While you should avoid micromanaging, you should also never punish employees who come to you with an issue by biting their heads off. Don't play the big, scary boss. Instead, let your employees know they can talk to you and listen to them with respect and fairness.
Practice a Little Sensitivity
Your employees have lives outside of the workplace, and those lives are likely not perfect. If an employee who is normally energetic and driven is suddenly in a slump, consider that issues outside of the workplace may be to blame. Never pry, but do let your employees know that they can be honest and open with you if a personal issue is having an effect on their on-the-job performance.