Have you ever felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and emotionally drained from work? We all have days like that, but when it goes on for weeks, months, or more, you’re probably dealing with burnout. Chronic stress and burnout can lead to headaches, illness, poor performance, and disengagement.
It’s important to help your employees deal with work and avoid burnout. Otherwise, you’ll be struggling with long-term poor performance and high turnover rates.
How can you make a difference when it comes to burnout? Here are some ways to help employees cope with stress.
#1) Take Care of Your Own Health
Before you can help someone else with burnout, make sure you aren’t, yourself, struggling with stress. If you’re also burned out, you might react emotionally to your employees or fail to give them the support they need.
Eat good food, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. When you take these steps, you’re on the path of recovering from your own strain. Then, take steps to manage your own workload and work-life balance.
Your team will pick up on your stress and it will make burnout more likely on your team. The best thing you can do is set an example by taking good care of yourself.
#2) Treat Employees Fairly
Employees who feel unfairly treated at work are more than twice as likely to burn out, according to studies by Gallup. Is there bias, bullying, or a glass ceiling preventing specific staff members from advancing?
If so, it’s time to become an advocate. You can help overlooked employees get new opportunities, mentoring, and additional training. You may also suggest them for promotions where you think they’d be a great fit.
Employees that are respected and feel they can trust their business leaders build strong relationships and are more resilient to stress. That means less burnout, less turnover, and fewer missed workdays.
#3) Ensure Your Staff Feels Valued Beyond Performance
One of the reasons people burn out is that they are focused on work as their primary driver of personal value. If your workplace focuses rewards only on performance, it’s easy for people to get caught up in overworking in order to get noticed.
You can make a difference by recognizing staff “just because.” Give someone a gift card just for fun, or a longer lunch because they need it. See if you can let them go home early paid one day. Giving people a break and some appreciation just because they exist is a way to show that a person is worth more than their production.
Everyone feels like a rat on a wheel sometimes, but as a business leader you can take steps to ensure that feeling isn’t a constant reality on your team.
#4) Encourage Breaks and Time Off
One of the biggest reasons people burn out is that they don’t take appropriate breaks, lunches away from their desks, and vacation time. In fact, Americans lost 768 million vacation days in 2018 alone.
Workers don’t take vacation because they don’t want to be seen as optional or expendable. After all, if everything is fine without them, maybe they don’t really matter. But the truth is that vacation time helps employees recharge and return with a higher level of focus, motivation, and productivity.
As a manager, you can make a big difference. Don’t give employees trouble about taking vacation time, and make sure to set an example by getting breaks and time off yourself. In fact, you can even give workers a bit of friendly push if you see them working through lunch. Encourage them to take time away from work to relax.
#5) Encourage Employee Health
Physical activity and healthy eating can have a significant impact on how people experience stress. If you’d like to encourage your employees to work out their stress in a different way, consider starting an employee wellness program.
A wellness program can help employees stay active and give them the tools to be both physically and emotionally resilient. For those that want to participate, friendly competitions can build coworker relationships and encourage a feeling of accomplishment.
Employee wellness programs have a variety of benefits, including lower stress, better morale, and improved absenteeism. This not only helps prevent burnout, but it can also improve productivity overall.
How Does Your Staff Deal With Burnout?
Burnout is a tough issue because you often don’t notice it until significant action needs to be taken. To avoid burnout issues that require a leave of absence or cause turnover, you can take the steps we’ve listed above.
Are you interested in starting an employee wellness program in your organization? We can help. Contact us today to learn more!