Reducing burnout and improving employee experience4 min read

Cara Moore / January 4, 2018
Category : Human Resources
Caption: Reducing burnout and improving employee experience4 min read

Burnout is a real and widespread phenomenon that affects employees worldwide. It can lead to a high turnover and a low morale in a company, so HR teams need to know to be aware of it and what steps to take to combat it. Today on the blog, we are going to look at how to reduce burnout and improve employee experiences and happiness. This is especially important to think about following the holidays, since people may be slow to get back into their work after time off, as well as finding they have large and even unmanageable amounts to do which can be a rude awakening after a relaxing holiday period. So read on for our best tips on dealing with burnout.

Start at the beginning

Burnout needs to be something that companies are on top of from the very beginning of an employee’s journey with them. Therefore, HR personnel should ensure that the employee’s interview and on-boarding process are as positive an experience as possible.

  • Treat all candidates pleasantly and with respect regardless of whether they end up being successful or not. It is a good thing to do to give feedback to all applicants who reach a certain point, and shows candidates and employees-to-be that your business cares about making a good impression in the recruitment process
  • Remember that even if you don’t hire them now, you may want to at a later point; and you want even your unsuccessful candidates to be ambassadors for your brand
  • Research shows that candidates who had a good first experience with a company in the interview stages are happier, more well-adjusted and more likely to stay on for longer with the business


Be flexible

Burnout primarily stems from an unbalanced and unsustainable work-life balance, so to keep your employees from burning out you may want to consider discussing this with them and pursuing alternative arrangements where possible

  • Encourage frequent breaks to keep focus during the work day. Employees who take 5-10 minutes to refocus their minds are more likely to do high quality work for a longer period of time
  • Consider flexible scheduling. If you notice an employee is struggling with their scheduled work hours and their work can feasibly be done from home, encourage them do this, even if it is just for a short time. Managing their own time can be beneficial by allowing them to work around other activities that they enjoy
  • But, remember to establish boundaries too. Where possible, try to make sure your employees are not working outside work hours. They should be using time after work to relax and unplug from the working day, which will allow them to be refreshed and focused for the following days


Spot and address stress early

Keep your eye out for disengaged employees so that you can address problems early on. The longer an employee suffers with feelings of overwork, tiredness and stress, the more likely they are to burnout which can cause many more issues down the line

  • Has an employee been having mood swings or been acting differently following a shift in workload, or a prolonged time with an intense amount of work? Can you sense a change in morale in the whole office? Take these seriously when you first notice them to mitigate future issues
  • You may notice a change in communication from an employee who was previously chatty and communicative and now is silent and uncommunicative. This is also something to pay attention to and talk to them about as soon as possible
  • Check in regularly with employees to gage how they are feeling and how they are coping with their workloads. Informal one-on-one meetings, or small groups meetings, are a good way to judge how your team is feeling and whether they are being overworked to the point of exhaustion and burnout

Always prepare in advance

Don’t let the pre-Christmas or post-holiday rush take you by surprise. These are always busy times of year and also times when employees often have engagements in their personal lives too, making juggling work and home life even more complicated

  • Discuss holidays and time off around this time of year in advance. Try to ensure that everyone is satisfied with the time off that they have and make it as fair as possible
  • Put practices and procedures in place to deal with the holiday season rush. Prioritize urgent tasks and pick up ones that can wait after the rush
  • Where possible, don’t spring new work on employees in busy periods, and warn them in advance when workloads are expected to increase significantly. This can help for their own personal planning and allow them to prepare for busier times to reduce stress and burnout

Author: Cara Moore

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