Reducing Employee Burnout in 2021
“Burnout occurs when your body and mind can no longer keep up with the tasks you demand of them. Don’t try to force yourself to do the impossible. Delegate time for important tasks, but always be sure to leave time for relaxation and reflection.”
— Del Suggs
Our lives have drastically changed since February 2020. More than 80,000 restaurants have been closed due to COVID, but more than 4.4 million businesses have been created since. The good news is that we are heading in the right direction to getting back to the new normal. However, there has been one major issue in the workforce recently.
Have you heard of the term “the Great Resignation?” The Great Resignation has recently become a hot topic in the news because of the record-high 4.3 million workers in the United States quitting their jobs in August 2021. Employee retention has been difficult for many, but the main one has been burnout.
The JOLTS report revealed that in August 2021, a total of 892,000 workers in the foodservice and accommodation industries left their jobs, 721,000 workers in the retail industry left their jobs, and 534,000 workers in health care and social assistance left their jobs during the month.
People are resigning for a few reasons. However, the one we will discuss today is burning out.
What is Burning Out?
Burning out means feeling mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring. People experiencing burnout often don’t see any hope of positive change in their situations. According to VetX International, there at five stages of burnout.
The Honeymoon Stage – The Honeymoon Stage is the best stage of work. This stage usually refers to the early days/ weeks of a new job. I am sure you remember this stage when you started the current position you are in.
The Honeymoon Stage is when an employee feels the most motivated. Usually, employees in this stage are ready to take on anything. The work may be a lot for them to handle, but they are willing to do whatever it takes because of the energy and ambition they have to succeed.
The Balancing Act – After the first few weeks into a new position, an employee usually enters the Balancing Act. The Balancing Act is when an employee sees signs of job dissatisfaction, work inefficiency, and fatigue.
We all have been there. This stage is when an employee begins to notice some aspects of the job that they dislike. This isn’t usually a bad thing! No job is perfect. Everywhere you work, there will be something you dislike doing. However, the important thing is to stay in this stage to avoid burnout.
Chronic Symptoms – This stage is very similar to the last one. The only difference is that the symptoms of feeling dissatisfied, inefficient, and fatigued are all increased. Any excitement an employee once had for the job has gone out the window.
The Crisis Stage – This stage is when you should begin to worry about your employees. Employees who tend to run themselves into the ground tend to hit a breaking point where they emotionally cannot handle any more stress.
There are several indicators of this stage, which include obsessing about work frustrations and pessimistic thinking. When at this stage, mental health issues also increase.
Enmeshment – The last stage is Enmeshment. This is the stage that when most employees reach, they end up burning out and quitting their job. The important thing for you as an employer is for your employees to never get to this stage.
Ways Great Managers Can Reduce Employee Burnout
According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress costs U.S. companies over $300 billion annually due to accidents, absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, workers’ compensation, and direct medical, legal, and insurance costs. That is why avoiding burnout is crucial for successful companies.
There are many reasons for job stress, but here are five ways you can help reduce it as an employer.
Promote Work/Life Balance – Promoting a work/life balance is one of the most important things you can do for your employees. Employees want to know that their managers understand that there is life outside of work.
Simple ways to promote a healthy work/life balance are shutting down early before the holidays, offering flexible scheduling, and providing work-from-home options!
Monitor Workloads – Leaders should never expect too much from their employees. This is by far the most common reason for burnout in 2021.
With 39% of stress coming from workload, it is crucial to ensure you monitor your employees’ workload. Leaders and Managers need to ensure that their employees aren’t being tasked with an unreasonable amount of projects.
Encourage Use of Vacation Time – According to a new Priceline survey, only 21% of people used all their available vacation days last year, which decreased from 30% in 2019. The reasons for this generally tie to work responsibilities such as a heavy workload, lack of coverage, or the fear of being replaced.
The best way for managers to ensure their employees take their vacation days is by encouraging them verbally! A simple encouragement to take vacation days will help your employees feel less stressed about taking them, resulting in decreased burnout.
Lead By Example – If an employee of yours sees you not taking vacation days, they may feel more guilty about doing so. Take your vacation days, take breaks, monitor your workload, and make sure to have a consistent work/life balance! Lead by example.
Welcome Employee Feedback – The best way to understand what is not going well for your employees is by asking for their feedback. Employees can offer ideas and knowledge on specific topics like stress in the workplace. Managers should actively promote input on improving productivity, balancing workloads, and working together as a team.
Now that you know more about employee burnout, are you ready to change your policies to help promote a work/life balance, manage workload, encourage vacation, and welcome employee feedback?
For more articles like this one, please visit our blog page!