Unfortunately, in today’s world, employee burnout is affecting many people, regardless of their job. The Mayo Clinic defines employee or job burnout as a special type of work-related stress—a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and a loss of personal identity.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 76% of employees experience burnout sometimes, and 28% say they are burned out “very often” or “always” at work. A happier work environment leads to less burnout, greater productivity, and overall greater organizational success.
By considering the tips below, you can help prevent employee burnout and maintain a happy and healthy workplace.
Eight Tips to Avoid Employee Burnout
1. Build the team through activities.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, team-building activities enhance communication, increase creativity, and create a climate of cooperation and collaborative problem-solving. In other words, employees build deeper and more resilient relationships which are the foundation for any high-performing organization. When a team works well together, burnout tends to decrease overall.
2. Conduct timely, productive meetings.
Meetings are essential to deliver information to large groups and to receive timely feedback. It is vital to stay on task, keep points concise, and respect everyone’s time.
Provide agendas before the meeting and a clear time frame for the meeting to enhance productivity. Feeling overwhelmed with workload and meetings can increase burnout and stress if they are not timely and considerate.
3. Offer designated breaks for personal care time.
Personal care benefits the health, wellness, and happiness of an employee. Allowing each employee, the opportunity for self-care throughout the day can reduce stress and increase productivity, even as little as 15 minutes.
If you decide to offer breaks, encourage staff to take advantage of them. Otherwise, there’s a good chance many employees will feel they will be viewed negatively if they take a break. Ensure that employees have the support of management and the organization to enjoy this benefit.
4. Create a mentoring program.
Implement a mentoring program to support employees within the organization. It offers a designated person they can turn to with questions or use as a sounding board with ideas. Pairing an experienced employee with a newer employee can enhance the program’s success.
Completing routine check-ins with staff provides an opportunity for the employee to ask questions, voice concerns or frustrations, and allow the employer or manager to ensure everything is going well.
5. Encourage Staff to Take Vacation to Recharge.
It’s well understood that everyone needs time away from the office from time to time to reset and recharge. It gives employees a chance to redirect their energy towards something else and helps maintain a sense of work-life balance.
There’s only one catch. Most employees never use all of their sick or vacation time, and usually, it goes to waste or rolls over. Encourage staff to take time off throughout the year as needed to help prevent burnout.
6. Invest in employee continuing education opportunities.
Offer learning opportunities for employees to grow and simultaneously minimize the risk of burnout. Conferences offer employees a chance to learn as well as expand their professional network.
During the COVID era, the number of online webinars, e-courses, and such has increased tremendously. The job training opportunities are limitless when you pair seasoned staff with newer employees. Investing in employee education will pay dividends for your employees and your practice.
7. Always take time to give positive praise.
Praise, compliments, and recognition go a long way in boosting the morale of a team or employee. Take a few minutes every day to compliment an employee or co-worker on a job well done to make them feel appreciated and valued.
Keep in mind compliments and praise can come from anyone, not just the boss. Consider the positive impact it will have on employee morale and your practice culture.
8. Invite open communication.
Foster a culture that not only tolerates but inspires open communication. Routinely check in with staff and ask, “How are you doing?” or “Can I do anything to help?” — establishing periodic check-ins with employees to keep a pulse on morale and identify opportunities to improve things.
While employees may need to vent occasionally, make sure this doesn’t become the norm with each conversation. Providing a culture that revolves around open conversation builds trust and deepens relationships across the team.
Burnout can take a toll on an employee’s mental health, performance, and quality of life. This can impact the effectiveness of your practice to deliver care within your community.
Devote the necessary time and resources to reduce burnout among your staff, and it will pay dividends for you, your practice, and your patients.
Here are some action steps you can take today to become a better leader and help your team avoid burnout.
- Start planning an annual team-building activity.
- Look at your calendar and schedule time to meet with every employee to talk and praise them.
- Talk to your employees about using their designated break time to focus on themselves.
- If you usually have one time a year for vacation sign up, open it again for 6 months from then to sign up again.
- Google some industry-related conferences and reward your best employees with a travel voucher for attendance.