Have you ever wondered why most employees that have been doing well for years starts to underperform all of a sudden? It could be as a result of burnout.
Employee burnout is an issue organizations irrespective of size must take seriously. It can make a once productive employee unproductive. And this would reflect in the wallet of the organization.
Employee burnout is something one cannot eradicate in a work environment, but you can avoid it in most circumstances.
Factors that lead to employee burnout must be determined, and ways employees and managers can prevent it from happening should also be considered by the organization. Let’s take a look at each one of them.
What is employee burnout?
Employee burnout is a serious problem in the workplace. It is predominant in organizations where employees face tighter deadlines and busy schedules and strikes when they are exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally.
Employee burnout can also occur when an organization is facing several internal problems. It can affect both the morale, productivity, and focus of the employee. Once the work environment becomes unfriendly, employee burnout will not only result, but team spirit will be destroyed.
On one hand, employees can also create this problem for themselves. They create unrealistic goals which if not achieved leads to increased pressure, tension and mental breakdown if not addressed as soon as possible.
Such scenarios often result in employee burnout and reduced-productivity.
In fact, the employee in question may even decide to quit the job at the end of the day, which will result in additional cost on the part of the company to recruit and train a new candidate.
Why does employee burnout emerge?
Humans are not machines. Even machines break down when subjected to too much stress or made to work constantly for an extended period. Burnout could be as a result of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion.
When employees are made to pass through stress repeatedly, burnout can result.
An employee could be in a situation where he has no choice but to meet a deadline and may work the same way for months, non-stop.
Working under such conditions can lead to burnout. It can also lead to a reduction in productivity or make the person in question fall sick.
Working consecutively for long hours can result in employee burnout. It will get to a point where the brain and entire system will not have any other option than to shut down completely.
An employee could break down in this type of condition. And it might cause the company financial losses and loss of productive time.
In a nutshell, over-labouring employees can cause burnout. You will discover in some organization that a single employee would be made to handle tasks meant for three persons.
Again, another reason employee burnout occurs is as a result of the increase in demand placed by customers. Employees working in firms with a large customer-base often face a lot of stress in the discharge of their duties.
Technology, on the other hand, is ever-changing, which means more software to learn. Employees need to learn how to use them to meet the needs of customers and increase productivity.
What to do to avoid employee burnout?
Sadly, employee burnout and stress is still one of the biggest challenges in the workplace. Most companies are taking the right step to avoid this situation because they know how detrimental it can be to their businesses and general health of the employee in question.
The big question for those yet to take a stand is – how can employee burnout be avoided in the workplace?
Here are simple tips to achieve it.
1. Know your limits
It is important not to exceed your limit. Do not overwork yourself to a point that you start feeling sick. In most occasions, employees are the ones creating these problems. They procrastinate, and in an attempt to meet the tight deadline, you will find them overworking themselves up.
Someone who has not lifted 100 pounds of weight before will get into trouble if he does that. Even though that’s his target, there is no harm in starting small.
Start working on your tasks on time and rest when you feel tired. Learn to finish up a day or two before the deadline.
Working under such pressure can lead to burnout. You might also make costly mistakes which might cause more tension and threat to your job.
2. Don’t create unrealistic expectations
One of the things that can lead to burnout is having too many unrealistic targets. So start creating goals you can achieve without over labouring, and make plans for any obstacle you may encounter on the way.
Critical thinking and evaluation of the plan is crucial. Include how you intend to achieve your targeted goals too. But, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve your target.
What shall you do if you already have employee burnout?
There are steps you can take to remedy the situation if you have employee burnout. Don’t wait for your employer or the person above you to fix things.
Start on your own. Here is what you should do to help yourself.
1. Relax yourself
Those who are perfectionists are prone to burnouts. They are never satisfied until they achieve what is on their mind. But, you need to learn to let go and relax. Once you discover that you are already experiencing a burnout, try to relax yourself a bit.
2. Learn to say no
The last thing someone that has burnout wants is stress. So you must learn to reject tasks at this point to clear your head.
3. Take your mind off that task
Most employees with burnouts claim to be relaxing but have their minds fixed on tasks at hand. But if you really want to get rid of burnouts that shouldn’t be the case.
Communicate with colleagues and family members to free your mind. You can even spend more time with your family or people who will not bring up office issues to the discussion.
What can the employer do to help his employees to cope with employee burnout?
There are many things an employer can do to help an employee to cope with a burnout.
They are simple to implement and could help bring out the best in your employees.
1. Make the workplace less stressful
Amazon’s newly built office is a good example. The multi-million dollar office was created to make employees happy, motivated and relaxed at work. It is not easy managing a growing e-commerce business.
Employees are the ones feeling the pressure the most. If the environment is not conducive, employee burnout might result. It could cripple activity of the company, and reduce productivity too.
2. Find out what causes stress to your employees
There are many ways an employer can make the workplace less stressful. He or she can discuss one-on-one with the affected employee to know what causes stress. And be open-minded during the discussion, and give your employees room to speak freely.
Most of the stress employee faces in the workplace are related to their workload, fear of job security, and the person they are working with. But you can restore their motivation back to the job by talking to them.
Employee burnout can cause the company great losses in revenue, and productive time. An employee who has a burnout will be unable to give his best. He/she might also develop severe health problems which can make him unable to work for days.
Employers need to take the issue of employee burnout seriously. They need to implement strategies that will make employees to avoid burnout and increase productivity.