We are almost halfway through 2022, and seeing the impact of vacancies, stress and illness really impacting employees. At our company people are going off sick, caring for family members and trying to cover for other employees going on long-needed vacations.
Employee burnout is a topic that hits close to the heart of our company with our core value of teamwork.
We believe teamwork and collaboration are the way to success, but when our employees are facing burnout we are in trouble.
How do we combat these issues?
First, we work in teams so there is always a backup to ensure when people are off work they don’t need to worry about work getting done.
Second, we have paid sick leave, twice as much as required, and we start each employee with 50% more vacation than what is required. We also have a health and benefits package that hopes to alleviate some of the added stress of paying for medication and getting treatment like massage.
Third, whenever possible we provide the flexibility to work from home and try to adjust our team’s hours as they need. We also don’t require management approval if someone needs to take a family member to the hospital – just let a team member know if you need something taken care of.
How burnout is affecting other workplaces
Burnout isn’t new, but the added effects of a global pandemic have been a hefty weight on an already problematic issue, as the statistics are showing.
According to Indeed, 53% percent of millennials were burned out prior to covid, and a reported 59% experienced it in 2021.
Additionally, Gen Z folks reported 58% burnout in 2021 (compared to 47% in 2020). The report shows consistently elevated levels across all generations.
The American Psychological Association’s 2021 Work and Wellbeing Survey reports that 79% of the 1,501 employees surveyed had experienced work-related stress in the month before the survey.
It also shows nearly 3 in 5 employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress, including:
- Lack of interest, motivation, or energy (26%)
- Lack of effort at work (19%)
- Cognitive weariness (36%)
- Emotional exhaustion (32%)
- Physical fatigue (44%)
So, as employers what can we do to prevent, and improve employee burnout?
We’ve listed some ideas below to get you started!
1. Schedule Flexibility and Work-Life Balance
A healthy work-life balance should be encouraged and supported by all workplaces; there is no getting around this one, nor should it be something a company/organization ignores.
Employees report that more flexibility in scheduling and working remotely (36%), or additional paid leave (also 36%), could help to reduce burnout.
The ability for employees to take time off is a crucial one and should still be encouraged during difficult times – like a pandemic, for example. Unfortunately, 16% of workers haven’t taken any time off during the pandemic, with 14% reporting they’ve taken less time off than they did pre-covid.
Ensuring the time off is well spent is equally important as well – of the 1500 individuals surveyed, Indeed found that 70% of all respondents have access to work communications on their phones, which makes them 84% more likely to work outside of normal business hours.
Encouraging employees to turn off work-related notifications and not to worry about emails or calls during their off-time (including paid leave and holidays) is beneficial for their mental health and should be a priority.
Everyone does well with a guilt-free day off now and then. Paid sick days may be provided to employees, however, incorporating separate paid mental health days are excellent ways to reduce burnout.
Other simple, yet effective employee perks that contribute to healthy wellbeing can include:
- Stress management courses
- Adequate parental leave policies
- Subsidized gym memberships
- Wellness reimbursements
- Yoga classes
- Outdoor events
- Monthly mental health check-ins
- Employee assistance programs
- Physical health/movement breaks
3. Staff Appreciation
A little kindness goes a long way!
Acknowledging and recognizing employees when they perform well shows them they are valued and makes them feel appreciated. This in turn motivates them to continue with their performance and contributes to their overall job satisfaction.
This appreciation can be shown in many ways; for example simply providing employees with positive feedback, a gift card to a local restaurant, or even an extra paid day off.
4. Lead by Example
If managers aren’t displaying a positive and healthy work-life balance, employees may not either; they may feel guilty for asking for time off because they don’t see others doing so, or their supervisors taking needed time off.
Employers should encourage all employees, across all levels, to utilize available benefits and resources to allow for a thriving and positive workplace.
When employees struggle in an unhealthy work environment, their negativity and stress have a snowball effect within the workplace – this creates a toxic environment.
Any benefits or efforts made by employers to mitigate burnout in the workplace will, in turn, also benefit them by ensuring employees feel appreciated and motivated.
Do you implement any of these in your workplace?
We would love to hear your thoughts below.
Check out more Recruiting Tips and Resources on our blog here!
Red Seal Recruiting Solutions has a wide variety of services to help you find the best employees. See how we can help on our Recruiting Solutions page.