Burnout is still on the rise as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact how businesses operate. Over half of U.S. workers experienced stress and burnout in a poll, and given the condition's significant causes — work/life imbalance, isolation, and an excessive workload — the rise is unsurprising. Companies must adjust to reflect the unique demands of a workforce handling the hurdles posed by Covid-19 and establish environments that value the person, not just the sum of their achievements.
Employee burnout is a mental health issue in every company, and those who suffer from it are 2.6 times more likely to be constantly looking for another workplace. Aside from the more normal occupational concerns, unpredictable external circumstances like the COVID-19 epidemic aggravate burnout. The more intense things become, the more likely it is that businesses will develop a burnout environment. And events are currently at their most stressful. Many companies have had to drastically alter their business models as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. And they're doing it with far fewer workers in many instances. Add to that; many people have to endure a great deal of personal tension beyond work.
Reasons employees quit
There is a correlation between high stress, rapid work conditions, and employee turnover. However, research indicates that there are other risks as well:
- Salary: Employee job satisfaction suffers when wages are not appropriate with seniority, degree of education, job stress, job responsibilities, and other factors.
- Lack of appreciation: Not receiving recognition for a job well done can wreak havoc on both daily activities and major accomplishments, eroding satisfaction.
- Management concerns: Employee satisfaction can be caused by confrontations, arguments, or challenges with the leadership team.
- Temporary employment: There is no motivation to continue working at a temporary job, such as college students.
Staff turnover is costly and trying to cover shifts while recruiting and training new employees places pressure on existing workers. Employees who have been with a company for less than a year are also much more likely to leave. Rather than being caught in the destructive spiral of recruiting, substituting, and replacing, it is preferable to identify and manage employee burnout while also retaining workers.
To detect signs of stress and burnout early, train management teams on the indicators. Put employees in charge of their happiness. Many people who experience anxiety and burnout do not believe their jobs are the primary cause. Allow employees to understand what burnout is, recognize red flags, and take steps to reduce it — and fully participate in company measures to mitigate the impacts of burnout. There are numerous warning signs and symptoms of employee burnout; however, the following are the most important:
- A spike in irritability or disagreement
- Reduced productivity or work quality
- A negative perspective or a noticeable lack of interest
- Insomnia or restlessness
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Anxiety and depression
- Physical disease or discomfort becomes more severe.
- Fatigue from making decisions
- Workplace alienation or disengagement
- Problems with concentration or memory
Ways to prevent employee burnout
The workload is frequently cited as being one of the leading causes of employee burnout. Despite some data indicating that work productivity as teams switched to entirely working remotely, executives should not interpret this as an open invitation to expand responsibilities. Pushing themselves into work was one method for many to cope with the big unknowns that have dominated this year, and productivity levels may fall simply since they've been working so hard for so long.
Burnout occurs when people continuously work 60 hours or more each week, according to research. Moreover, when working remotely during COVID, many employees fail to distinguish and balance their personal and professional duties. Simple policy changes can have a significant impact. Cap the number of meetings, for example. Leaders can also prohibit emailing or texting during off-hours – and set a good example. Consider conflicting difficulties that employees may have, such as childcare or Zoom fatigue, and distribute jobs and workload complexity based on your evaluation and each employee's ability.
Flexibility in schedule, job responsibilities, and other areas inform your employees that their effort and time are valued.
Here are some examples of schedule flexibility:
- Changing the start or end times of shifts to allow time with the family.
- Increasing workforce in the middle of the day to allow employees to take an extended lunch break for running, meditation, or a relaxed meal.
- Letting an employee who wants to take additional weekend vacations to do a four-day workweek which is working extended-hours schedule of four days and has three days off
- Employees who want to work from home should be given the opportunity.
- Providing paid time off for medical or therapy appointments does not count against paid sick leave.
According to one research, over half of employees had left a job because of their supervisor, and another 32% have considered quitting because of their manager. Lack of remorse, respect, or competence is common negative strands. Improved leadership style can lead to increased employee satisfaction.
Employees that are dissatisfied with their jobs frequently communicate with one another. As a result, a subculture of resistance and low efficiency can emerge. Unfortunately, not all employees are prepared to discuss their concerns with their managers, even if they are heard over the office gossip. Managers can recognize possible issues before they impede teamwork by actively and sympathetically listening to employee grievances.
Encouraging problems to linger only to reprimand personnel later creates an air of uncertainty. Responsibility is only effective if it is maintained constantly.
As a manager, you should know that you may not be aware of your team's private affairs details. People's communication tactics differ, but a simple "how are you?" can go a considerable way. Don't just discuss work during one-on-one sessions.
Create a strong leadership basis to inspire the entire team. Give employees the tools they need to engage in listening, questions, and take action if they have opinions and concerns.
Micromanagement raises the danger of burnout in both employees and executives. Keeping rigorous control over a team can result in more after-hours work and anxiety. In addition to infuriating staff, managers who fail to release control risk spreading themselves too thin and becoming overburdened. Conversely, work may become stagnant under a manager who strives for total control. Instead, listen to employees, provide guidance, and establish specific goals for them.
Give prizes and incentives for exceptional performance, whether you're thanking your customer-facing team for positive feedback or congratulating your sales team on their strongest quarter yet. Employees feel valued when they receive a genuine, timely acknowledgment. Don't keep the secret, either: alert others about completed projects or significant milestones.
The atmosphere for relationships among employees at all levels is set by your workplace and company culture. Build a vibrant corporate culture that clearly states no tolerance for bullying or behaviors that make any employee feel unsafe, awkward, or undesirable. When all employees buy into the corporate culture, the result is a happier, more teamwork spirit.
Individuals may feel unwilling to take a vacation because they are afraid about the burden upon their return, believe coworkers disdain the time off, or fear that they will appear uncommitted. The management team must set a good example by taking some time off and educating and staffing around employee vacations.
Make sure that time off is genuinely downtime. It might be tough to detach in a connected environment. Urge staff to set up auto-response messages while they are gone, referring people to the right person. When an employee is on vacation, do not contact them. Restore weekends — whether they fall on Saturday and Sunday or in the middle of the week — by keeping business at the office rather than bringing it home.
So, to sum it all up...
Leaders can establish a "turning point" for themselves and their teams. They can establish a working environment that reduces stress for everybody. The result is a win-win collaborative culture in which everyone is acknowledged and accepted and where creativity can thrive in pursuit of important goals.