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HOW TO PREVENT EMPLOYEE BURNOUT

Provided by: - January 13, 2023

By HANNAH POLK

For the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce

January is peak busy season for many businesses. The new year may bring reorganization, goal setting and the shifting of focus to new projects.

While these professional adjustments are happening, it is important to remember people’s personal lives undergo the same changes. Employee burnout occurs when the buildup of personal and professional stress becomes too much for one person to handle.

Employee burnout can sneak up quickly and without much warning to employers.

Fortunately, there are steps employers can take to prevent employee burnout or avoid it altogether.

BE FLEXIBLE

Skye Schooley with Business.com suggests offering flexible scheduling to better suit the individual needs of employees.

A parent, for example, may prefer working 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. so they can drop off their children at school in the morning. Whereas a part-time student may prefer 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. so they have time for night classes.

Understanding the need for flexible work hours will also allow the employee to feel more supported by their employer leading to a lower chance of burnout.

OFFER MENTAL HEALTH DAYS AND PAID TIME OFF

A few days of rest and relaxation can provide a reset for the body and mind when stress levels are high.

“Simply offering paid vacation is not enough,” Schooley writes. “It’s essential to encourage employees to use their days off.”

Employees should feel supported in their decision to take time off. Otherwise, they will be spending their day off feeling guilty, rather than fully taking the time to unwind.

EXTEND YOUR SUPPORT

Letting your employees know they are supported by management can provide them peace of mind when work becomes too much.

Michael Timmes, a human resource consultant, wrote in a Forbes article that “having an open-door policy without fear of repercussions can go a long way in proactively preventing burnout or quickly addressing it once it appears.”

It becomes easier for employees to ask for help when they know their request won’t be dismissed.

MANAGE AND ADJUST WORKLOADS AS NEEDED

Arguably the most effective way to avoid employee burnout is to manage the workload they are receiving.

If work never becomes overwhelming or more than the employee can handle, the chance of burnout is significantly reduced.

Managing a workload is not an easy task, especially when the employee may be eager to meet a goal or willing to take on more projects. But with simple check-ins, it can become routine.

Schooley suggests having a manager monitor employee performance and productivity. If the manager notices a change in the employees performance, it may indicate a need for a workload adjustment.

However, open lines of communication about workload should still be in place even before the change in productivity occurs.

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