27 Jun 2019
We’re all aware of employee burnout—when an employee has been working too hard for too long it can all become too much.
Soon, however, it’ll be more than just a term used as a catch-all for employees feeling stressed.
According to the World Health Organisation, burn-out is chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed, and therefore will be globally recognised as a medical condition as of 2020.
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10 Tips on Avoiding Employee Burnout
If not managed properly, burnout can have a significant impact on employees, resulting in physical, intellectual, emotional or behavioural issues. In 2017/18, 15.4 million working days were lost due to work-related stress.
So how can employers avoid this arising in their organisation?
- Make sure staff take their breaks
Remind employees that they’re entitled to take a break from their work and take steps to make sure they are doing this. For example, you could prohibit staff from eating at their desks to stop them working through lunch.
- Do not permit excessive levels of overtime
Employees need time away from work to recuperate and refresh themselves. Whilst overtime can be a useful tool in getting extra work done, you should not expect them to regularly have to work overtime in order to finish their everyday tasks outside of normal hours.
- Prevent home working
If employees are regularly taking work home with them, you should re-think how workloads are distributed and if your workforce is large enough to handle the demands of the company.
- Consider allowing flexible working hours
This can help employees to maintain a balanced work and home life and better manage any commitments outside of work, such as raising a young family.
- Regularly evaluate employee performance
Identify areas where employees are struggling with workloads or workplace pressures and consider making changes.
- Train managers to look out for signs of stress
This can include irritableness, fall in performance, visible fatigue, increased levels of sensitivity or deliberate isolation.
- Maintain strong communication levels
Employees should be encouraged to speak to their managers about any issues they may be having in the workplace.
- Have a zero-tolerance for bullying
Bullying can add greatly to stresses of the normal working day and make it much harder for your employees to do their job. Make sure all employees, including managers, are aware of the consequences for any issues of bullying, harassment or discrimination.
- Use an Employee Assistance Programme
EAPs can encourage greater discussion and identify any workplace factors having a negative effect upon the employee.
- Create and maintain a wellbeing policy
This can outline any support that your company offers to employees who are suffering from workplace stress due to work-related or personal factors.
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