Have you observed employees or team members who seem to lack more energy than they did before, lose concentration more quickly or become a bit irritable with coworkers? According to the Mayo Clinic, these signs may be indications of job burnout.
A state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion can significantly impact employee and organizational performance and should be on your radar—for your own personal health as well as from a leadership perspective. A recent study found that about two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job, which can lead to absenteeism and turnover.
The good news is that leaders have the power to prevent and reverse burnout. Create a healthy, positive workplace environment that allows employees to thrive with these five steps:
1. Set clear expectations.
When you are unclear about what success looks like, it’s hard to know if you measure up. Doubting your abilities and your value at work can impact self-confidence and productivity. Moreover, without clear expectations, it can be difficult to prioritize, leaving employees to feel overwhelmed and scattered.
Keep the lines of communication open to ward off this cause of burnout. Start day one by ensuring that a new hire’s job description is up to date. When onboarding, include job expectations, check-in methods and an in-depth look at performance evaluations. Using the Emergenetics® Profile can give you greater insight into an individual’s Thinking and Behavioral preferences, equipping managers with the information they need to communicate these policies in a way that connects with each person.
2. Be mindful of workload.
When we have too much on our plates, it’s natural to feel stressed. Employees are more engaged when they feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work. When you feel that you can’t hit your goals or targets, burnout can occur.
Managers can address this challenge with consistent check-ins. Consider setting an occurring bi-weekly meeting to go over to-dos or asking for a weekly email where employees share their celebrations, tasks for the upcoming week, questions and requests.
3. Promote a healthy work-life balance.
95 percent of millennial employees report that work/life balance is important to them, and 80 percent of working parents list work/life balance as a top consideration when looking for a job. If employees don’t feel that their needs are met outside of work, their stress levels can increase.
Based on their individual needs, employees may appreciate different options. Consider offering a variety of benefits including flexible schedules, opportunities to work from home and a family leave package. Gather feedback from your employees about what is working and where they see opportunities for improvement. Keeping an open mind and revisiting your offerings on a yearly basis will help honor varying expectations and life events.
4. Cultivate relationships.
According to SHRM, developing meaningful interpersonal relationships among colleagues leads to greater connection and engagement. Showing your interest in your employees’ lives can have a major impact on job satisfaction, supporting the individuals and the company.
Dr. Geil Browning, Founder & CEO at Emergenetics, talks about the importance of relationships in her book Work That Works in Principle #7 entitled Love: Care for Your People and the Profits Will Come. Everyone in an office contributes to the success of a company and showing each employee that they are valued can positively impact their outlook and productivity.
5. Honor a person’s preferences.
When employees use their inherent strengths, they will be more successful and satisfied at work. Using a tool like the Emergenetics Profile gives individuals insight into their own preferences so they can better understand and utilize their gifts. It also gives managers a window into the preferences of their employees, so that they can provide opportunities for them to work through their strengths and experience success.
As our work grows more connected and technology supports an “always-on” work mentality, burnout has become a common occurrence at work. To support your employees’ physical and mental health as well as the success of your organization, be sure to check in on your employees to identify challenges before burnout occurs, and using these five steps, create an environment where employees can shine.
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