The country is nearly at full employment, but U.S. workers may also be approaching full…
The country is nearly at full employment, but U.S. workers may also be approaching full burnout.
On the heels of the World Health Organization defining it as a syndrome resulting from workplace stress, a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps found that nearly all senior managers (96%) believe their team members are experiencing some degree of burnout.
In a separate survey, 91% of workers said they are at least somewhat burned out.
Senior managers were asked to report the level of burnout among employees on a scale of 1 (not at all burned out) to 10 (completely burned out), and the average was 5.6. One in 5 respondents rated their team’s burnout level 8 or higher.
Workers also cited an average burnout level of 5.6, with more than a quarter of respondents (28%) falling within the 8 to 10 range.
Workers and managers alike seem to agree burnout is an issue, but they don’t see eye to eye on the main reason.
When given a list of factors that may be contributing to employee burnout, workers ranked constant interruptions first, while senior managers believed unmanageable workloads were the biggest issue for their teams.
4 Ways to Prevent Work Burnout at Your Company, from the Robert Half blogsite:
1. Reassess roles
Make sure your employees are in positions that suit their strengths and interests, and provide them with clearly defined roles and expectations. Taking these steps will help ensure workers don’t become frustrated laboring at tasks they’re not well-suited for.
Also be sure to communicate with your team on a regular basis and keep members in the loop when priorities change. Including employees in the planning process allows them to become invested in a project’s success, and by soliciting their expertise, you are reinforcing their value to the organization.
2. Be realistic
Take a step back and ask yourself some questions. Are your employees tackling doable workloads? Does everyone have all the resources and information they need to handle their projects? One fast path to burnout is to consistently dole out overly ambitious or unclear assignments that even the most skilled professional would have trouble completing.
3. Support — and model — work-life balance
Employees who like their jobs consistently cite work-life balance as one of the most valuable aspects of their organization’s culture. Respecting the obligations and interests that occupy workers outside of the office helps prevent burnout at work.
Where possible, consider offering alternative working arrangements, such as telecommuting or flextime, to help your employees juggle personal and professional responsibilities. Remind both remote and on-site employees to take care of themselves.
Unrelenting stress doesn’t exactly fuel happiness or efficiency. Encourage your team to take periodic breaks to go for a walk or simply step outside for some fresh air.
Perhaps most importantly, serve as a role model. Manage your time effectively so your employees see that you take your commitment to work-life balance seriously. Don’t encourage your direct reports to leave at 5:30 p.m. only to stay late yourself. Also, don’t make your team members feel tethered to their jobs by sending late-night or weekend emails.
When it comes to vacations, manage schedules so employees can truly enjoy their time off without feeling guilty for unduly burdening colleagues.
4. Recognize hard work
Feeling appreciated and well-compensated can make challenging workloads easier to take.
Put simply, a competitive salary is critical for keeping employees happy. And in today’s employment market, your ability to retain talent is tied closely to the salary, benefits and perks you provide. Is it time for you to raise salaries?
Also, remember that frequently saying “thank you” can go a long way toward preventing burnout. Offering appreciation can be as simple as a mention at a staff meeting or as involved as a nomination of your team for internal and external awards.
If they do something well, take notice. If you implement ideas submitted by your employees, give them credit.