Employee wellness is becoming an increasing issue for managers and business owners because simply put, they have been getting the short end of the stick for a long time. Increasing work stress and a growing shared sense of mistreatment, inadvertent and purposeful, has been a big part of what has led to the “great resignation” that many work sectors are still recovering from.
As such, you need to be more mindful of burnout and what you can do to prevent it in your own workplace. Here are some of the facets of burnout that you need to address.
Help your team better manage their workload
Teams that feel like they aren’t being given the tools to effectively manage their workload are going to feel increasingly frustrated and, to some degree, “left in the lurch.” As such, there are tools you can make use of, such as a priority matrix, to help your team better manage their own work priorities. Teaching them how to use work organization tools offers them a sense of control (which we will address in more detail) and can help them avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Make sure you’re not overworking them
Of course, sometimes the problem isn’t that they don’t know how to manage their work, but they simply have an unmanageable amount of work on their plate. Managers and business owners can often lose sight of what it’s like for their team members to manage their workload and precisely how much they have to do and, in some cases, your team might be hesitant to say “no,” often because the work culture has them believe that it’s not allowed or taken well. You need to manage their workload better, which may mean outsourcing parts of it or hiring additional team members.
Don’t overschedule them, either
Even if the amount of work that your team has to deal with is manageable, fitting it into their life in a way that suits their needs is crucial. If your team doesn’t work standardized hours, you have to be extra careful of their work-life balance. Scheduling a night shift and then a morning shift the day after might be essential sometimes, but it shouldn’t become a habit, and staff scheduling software can help you manage it much more mindfully. Workers with odd working hours tend to be some of the most exploited in the workforce, but also some of those likely to show the highest rates of turnover.
Give them some control over their work
That said, there isn’t anything inherently wrong with allowing members of the team to work differing hours. In fact, when managed well, it can be one of the most attractive aspects of a flexible workplace. You can allow your team to have more control over when they work, where they work, and how they work, which can offer a much greater sense of ownership over their work. This leads to them being more engaged and more motivated. Some people are a lot more productive when they have more say over their own work practices.
Promote a sense of fairness in the workplace
If people feel like they are being exploited or that other employees are getting better treatment than them, then the frustration and resentment that they experience can become a very powerful catalyst, speeding up the feelings of dissatisfaction that leads to burnout. You need to give your employees the opportunity to address their grievances in a healthy and constructive way, such as implementing a feedback system and arranging for one-to-one chats with each of them to see if there are any problems that you can address to make the workplace feel fairer to them.
Create the right work community
Fostering a sense of community amongst your team isn’t everything. You can’t rely on the sense of togetherness in the workplace to paste over the real issues that might otherwise lead to burnout. However, fostering a better sense of community in the workplace can certainly improve the sense of satisfaction that they feel working there. This can include a paid lunch out every week, as well as things like team-building activities or retreats that you can take them on. Creating a positive and welcoming work environment can help people feel a lot more motivated to stay in their job.
The matter of burnout is an evolving question for many business owners. Keep your eye on the team and, most importantly, keep them involved in the conversation to make sure that you’re taking the appropriate measures where you can.