How to help your employees tackle burnout at work
Does it look like it’s time to tackle staff burnout? If your employees started 2023 aiming high and pushing themselves, they may have already overworked themselves and so may need your support.
What is employee burnout?
In our previous blog, we discussed spotting signs of stressed employees. Burnout is the result of a prolonged period of stress, which affects employee mental health and wellbeing in a way that becomes overwhelming. For more information, have a look at the stages of burnout explained here.
How to identify employee burnout
What are the symptoms of overworking? These can be emotional, like irritability, crying, disassociating from and being cynical towards one’s job. Contrary to stress signs, like hyperactivity and putting too much effort into getting things done, the burnout stage means feeling drained, helpless, unmotivated, and trapped. It can also affect someone’s behaviour.
For example, employees with burnout may withdraw from support systems, isolate themselves socially, neglect their personal needs, or even be inconsistent with work and make uncharacteristic mistakes. Finally, it can sometimes affect physical wellbeing, leading to headaches, tiredness, memory problems, weight changes, and depression.
Tips for helping employees overcome burnout
Unsure of what to do when they come to you for support, or if you spot the symptoms yourself? If so, you may find these pointers helpful:
Check in with your team
An anonymous emotional rating system that lets your workforce provide their honest feedback could help to keep track of the emotional state of your workforce. Even casually asking someone how their week is going can allow them to share what they are working on. In cases like this, this could be a great opportunity for you to remind them you are here to offer your guidance or assistance.
Sometimes, employees will give you hints that something is not going well—try not to take it personally or get offended by their comments.
First, consider their overall behaviour, reliability, performance, character, and on the other hand, your interactions with them—is the role well-defined, and are the expectations clear? Here, it could be useful to think about whether their responsibilities have changed recently, and if your management style is fitting for them.
Schedule with caution
In businesses with many subteams and different accounts, it can sometimes be easy to underestimate the needs of a project, and make sure that it doesn’t fall under you and overpromise on another. Often, meetings between teams, clear goals, and honest discussions on the current and planned workload can help make the act of multitasking just that little bit easier, so you can make time for any extra last-minute changes and requests.
Give them purpose
The truth is that people tend to fixate on short-term tasks and deadlines, meaning that they’ll sometimes lose sight of their bigger goals.
That’s why it could be useful to ensure that everyone is content with their contribution to the business. Depending on their preferred form of motivation, training opportunities, attending conferences, or mico-management can help employees feel passionate about their work again.
Handling remote employee burnout
Remote working makes it more difficult to spot burnout signs, as your interaction with them may only ever last as long as a Zoom call. This means that employees can easily end up working late, or allow work to dictate their personal lives.
Therefore, it is important to give your remote workers assistance when it comes to managing their productivity, energy and focus levels. By encouraging them to preserve the boundaries around their work, this could be a great way to ensure that your remote employees are maintaining a good work-life balance, too.
How can employee gifting help with burnout?
When it comes to employee reward schemes, it’s essential that your staff don’t associate overworking with being rewarded too much, so they don’t experience burnout.
To avoid this, make sure that employee gifts aren’t all performance-based.
An all-year-round perk, like the Asda for Business gift cards and e-gift cards, could be a great way to show them that you appreciate their efforts, and that you value their contribution to the team – no matter the result.
By showing your employees that you care, you can help your employees overcome the need to constantly prove themselves, helping them feel more confident in their capabilities, so they can focus on what they love to do.
Depending on your employee’s levels of exhaustion, it’s good to remember that overcoming burnout might take at least a few months, to even a full year or more.
To foster long-term results, it is crucial for organisations to continue promoting self-care and wellbeing within the workplace. Encouraging practices such as learning to say “no,” embracing a slower pace, and setting personal boundaries are vital for achieving sustainable outcomes when it comes to reducing burnout – but a few rewards here and there, like our corporate gift cards and e-gift cards, could help too, to say “thank you”.