Overwork Leads to Employee BurnoutIt is a fact.  Businesses are more profitable with engaged, satisfied employees.  Unmotivated, burnt-out (or burning out) employees hurt your business – in both tangible and intangible terms. In order to maximize profits, improve your employer brand, and become a best-in-class employer, you need to help your burnt out employees.

What is burnout?

Employee burnout described a worker who is disengaged from his job. There are some primary causes of burnout, including stress, overload, boredom, and/or poor working conditions.

In many ways, employee burnout is a nationwide epidemic. Companies (of all shapes and sizes) have been trying to do more with less for years. Promotions have ground to a standstill. Recognition programs were cut to the bone. Stresses of all different types raised the issue of workplace bullying and hostile work environments.

The working wounded are everywhere…..in every company.    

Identify first

Epidemic or not…how can you identify the signs of job burnout among your employees and how can you go about relieving /reducing / removing it.

Some of the most telling signs of employee burnout include:

1)      Decrease in performance and/or productivity

2)      Increased absenteeism and/or tardiness

3)      Changes in attitude (including anger and irritability)

4)      Lower quality of work (more mistakes, etc.)

5)      Comments from co-workers

Relieve / Reduce / Remove

After you have identified the issues, now comes the time for a real gut check.  It is important to realize that a 3rd person cannot “unburn” an employee, but there are many things you can (and should) do to move the employee towards the positive end of the “engagement spectrum”.

1)      Reanalyze your motivators – what worked to motivate employees in the past? What successful events, perks and areas of recognition were cut?  Bring back the old, and identify the new.  What recognitions and awards can you initiate that will allow your workers to experience a sense of achievement?

2)      Provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.  One main cause of job burnout is being “worn out” from having been in the same job for a very long time.  Cross-training (for vacation coverage), seminar or conference attendance or even sitting down to create a formal career path can do wonders for an employee’s motivation.

3)      Re-engage yourself.  Take a long, hard look at yourself. Are you part of the problem? If you are paying for the employees to go bowling or see a sports team or even go see a movie, do not pass on the opportunity. Attend the event.  Mingle…talk….observe…you will be surprised at how much this little effort will take you (and your employees).

4)      Restructure the workload – Employees may jump at the chance at overtime, but over the long run, chronic consistent overtime does more harm than good.  Hours of overtime, lack of job control, multiple job responsibilities that may have incompatible or competing demands, or simply a lack of needed skills can cause employees stress, anxiety, and distress.   These all quickly lead to burnout.

Burnout is fixable.  Burnt out employees can be reduced with less rigidity and strong leadership.  Flexibility, coaching, motivating and communicating are your basic tools. Strong leadership squelches employee burnout, increases engagement and satisfaction while raising operating income.  Bringing flexibility to your workforce helps too.  During summer vacations, cyclical downturns or seasonal upswings, leverage temporary and temporary-to-hire workers. Remember, overworked employees are burned out employees.

Snelling is here to help.  We have a network of thousands of temporary workers who can bring their best-fit skills and talents to your enterprise, all the while increasing your profitability and engagement levels .  When you are ready, so are we.  Contact us today!

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