How Can Managers Prevent Employee Burnout?

Oct 26, 2017


We all know that stress can lower productivity. Fatigue, tight schedules, and hectic lifestyles can take a huge toll on work performance. Regardless of your role, being unable to complete all of the tasks on your checklist can lower your morale.

Additionally, in recent years, companies are relying more on smaller, specialized teams to achieve their goals. As a result, employee burnout has become both a tangible and common problem. So, how can managers prevent their employees from burning out? In this post, we'll discuss the best ways to approach, tackle, and eradicate stress among your subordinates!

Understand What You're Dealing With

Stress usually plagues a single person while employee burnout easily spreads across entire departments. Before you can propose a viable solution, you should thoroughly understand what the problem is.

Several sources across the internet describe employee burnout as long-term job-related discomfort. Those suffering from this often experience exhaustion, chronic pain, lack of resolve, and a tendency towards pessimism. Irritability and anger are also extremely common.

The effects of burnout on members of your team can be outright disastrous. Employees often notice changes in their sleep schedule, find it hard to interact with others, and might feel disillusioned with their jobs and careers. Particularly harsh cases could lead to drugs or alcohol abuse, violence, paranoia, and cynicism.

At this point, it should be clear that employee burnout is a rather serious psychological problem. We are not talking about a group of people throwing a tantrum whenever things aren't going their way. Monitoring of your staff and of their habits  - and keeping a line of communication open between you and your staff - can be one of the best ways to keep an eye out for employee burnout.

Avoid Boxing Your People In

According to popular medical portal WebMD, stress comes in many flavors. Unhappiness with one's job, heavy workloads, and long hours remain the three leading causes of work-related stress. Your employees' quality of life heavily influences their wellness and ability to perform.

Never forget that, whether you are managing a team or an entire division, you're responsible for both their results and well being. An extremely common mistake, especially among small to medium-sized companies, is relying on only a handful of people to get everything done.

When quality and results are your main goal, it's only natural to put your best people on the project. This can yield outstanding short-term results, but you risk quickly depleting your team's energy. What you should do, instead of overworking a small group, is ensuring that everyone gets plenty of rest.

Establish a solid work schedule that allows everyone a touch of free time. Rotate your teams and, whenever possible, distribute your resources accordingly. The quality of your company's infrastructure and equipment play a huge role in the creation of a pleasant environment. Nobody likes having to fight with old pieces of junk whenever they need to print an e-mail or open a spreadsheet!

Do your employees feel as if they were part of a family? Closely-knit communities don't just ask their members to work hard. Be open to suggestions, encourage positivism, and reward those who think outside the box!

Study and Implement Proactive Approaches

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. In the era of information technology, when employees spend hours in front of a luminescent screen, these words acquire a completely new meaning.

As a manager you hold the power to both prevent and cure employee burnout among your peers. Invest some of your time in the research for solutions and make sure your efforts bear fruits.

Your approach doesn't always have to be revolutionary. As long as it works, any solution is perfectly fine. Ultimately, each case needs to be handled in a specific and unique way.

Nevertheless, we'll try to give you a few ideas that you can work with:

  • Encourage the Birth of Personal Relationships;
    Whoever said you shouldn't make friends out of colleagues probably knew little about psychology. It's always great to have someone with whom you share a bad day!

  • Organize Parties and Team Building Activities;
    A good party can lift even the bluest of moods. Book a venue, build a playlist, and let your team blow off some steam.

  • Guide Your Employees Through Hard Times;
    There's a huge difference between a boss and a leader. If you want your people to see you as the leader, you should always be there for them!

Still can't find a way to get started? Take a look around. Your company's competitors and other industry leaders are an amazing source or information! From opt-in holiday plans to exclusive discounts, anything that can boost morale will help you prevent employee burnout.

In Conclusion

Employee burnout is an extremely serious, yet largely underestimated, threat to the stability of your company. Let it go unchecked for too long and you might end up with a full-blown crisis on your hands.

Unless you want the people that work with you to despise every second they spend at the office, you should build a contingency plan right away. Don't be ashamed to recognize your own limits. If you feel like the expertise of a professional could help, don’t hesitate to consult one!

Topics: Cost Per Hire

Todd Miller

Written by Todd Miller

Director of Marketing, DHR

Todd leads DHR’s marketing department and is responsible for overall marketing strategy and execution. With nearly 15 years in the sourcing services and solutions space, Todd provides interesting insight on a variety of topics in this fast-paced and ever-changing industry.

Todd lives in Scottsdale with his two daughters and Collie/Shepard. One is a good boy.

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