Definition of Employee Burnout:
Burnout occurs when there is a physical and mental exhaustion. Work stress, prolonged working hours, lack of a support system can contribute to burnout at work. Categorised as a mental condition by the World Health Organization, some symptoms include absenteeism, constant irritability, lethargy, mistakes at work, no sense of achievement, lack of focus, and frequent sickness.
According to a Gallup survey in 2018, among 7500 full-time employees, close to 23% feel burnt out regularly, and around 44% experience burnout at some point in their job.
What are the reasons behind Job burnout?
- Unfair treatment: This includes favouritism, nepotism, biases to name a few. Employees lose their motivation and morale. It causes dissatisfaction and leads to an increase in the turnover rate.
- Increased stress at work: It boils down to how we test an employee’s performance at work. How do you evaluate their productivity? Is it based on their work hours, turnaround time, the targets they achieve? Does your company encourage employees to work beyond the prescribed time, in the name of flexi hours? Does your company culture address this? As an employer, these are some things you must keep in mind when addressing Burnout at the workplace.
- Lack of clarity: Employees can perform their best, when they have clarity on their job role and how their job will contribute to the company’s goal. Ambiguity can reduce productivity, and can lead to lethargy and lowered morale.
- No support system: When employees have no one to discuss their problems with, it can cause a great deal of confusion and stress. When there’s room for communication, employees feel empowered and trust that their manager/company is invested in their wellbeing. Instead, if your manager doesn’t give adequate importance to the problems, employees are likely to keep their problems to themselves. This can lead to unhappy employees and employee burnout.
- Time pressure: Unable to manage time is another reason employees feel stressed out. It can happen either because they are given an unreasonable time-frame to complete their tasks, or because they have more tasks than what they can potentially handle. This hampers the quality of work, leading to unhappiness and dissatisfaction at the workplace.
Tackling employee burnout at your workplace:
- Managers should do regular one-on-one meetings to talk about employee well being: Talk to the employees regularly, particularly so, if they don’t seem like their usual self. Listen to them without judgements and offer help. Understand what is bothering them. As a result, your employees will feel heard, will trust you and would be happy at the workplace.
- Treat everyone equally: Avoid favouritism and treat everyone equally at the workplace. Be the manager who backs your employees. This helps in building trust, boosting the employee morale and reduces stress a great deal.
- Trust your employees to do their job: Give your employees the flexibility and control to complete their job. Let them choose the work and the timeline required to complete the work efficiently. This fosters an environment of trust and happiness at your workplace.
- Appreciate your employees: Appreciation can make your employees feel more valued, particularly when days are tough and your employees feel stressed out and lost. They will feel that their work really counts. Give them a day off, or go out with the team to celebrate their win.