Employee burnout is currently one of the leading causes of high turnover rates. Yet, only a few employers are actually doing something about it. Shocking, right? Well, not really. There are plenty of studies worldwide that show that employees are quitting their jobs due to burnout, which should worry companies since that comes at a high cost.
So, no matter how big or small, companies need to realize that their efforts of finding top talent can be a massive waste of time and money if their new employees leave after two months because of a stressful work environment. To preserve sustainable productivity and a good attitude, employees need to recover and not be pushed to the limit.
Nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization.
Surely, if you are one of those few bosses that are committed to building a well-balanced company culture, then you have probably found some trendy strategies and practices, some of which may seem overly complicated or too challenging to keep up in the long run. But, the thing is, preventing burnout doesn’t have to be complicated at all.
Transformative changes start with small actions. If you want to nurture a healthy work environment, here are some fun and easy practices that any leader can bring into their team to reduce stress and beat burnout statistics.
Embrace humor. Seriously, there are companies where employees feel like their paychecks might suffer if it looks like they are having fun and enjoying their time at work. While it is true that having a “company clown” could disrupt a productive environment, it is not likely for the rest of your workforce to feel like they can grow, be creative, and come up with new ideas in a sour environment. Allowing light-hearted (and respectful) humor in the team’s dynamic can help defuse tension and reduce a good deal of workplace stress.
Flexibility. With the recent pandemic, many practices were questioned as the world adapted to a digital and remote work environment. Keeping strict schedules was one of them. Clocking in and out at a specific time with just a one-hour lunch break (or even 30 minutes!) just doesn’t make sense for many employees. Especially for those whose jobs require sitting in front of a monitor for 8 hours. How’s that for work-life balance?
For employees still working from home, keeping a healthy lifestyle might mean taking at least 20 more minutes to cook and have fresh meals. For those back at the office, an additional break would be helpful for a quick run to the bank or simply disconnect and regain energy after a long strategy session. If you have a highly committed team, a little flexibility doesn’t hurt.
Acknowledgments. The lack of recognition or job fulfillment in a high-performing environment is a major burnout breeder. You don’t have to create your own Office Oscars or simply stick to the “Employee of the month” board in the coffee room. Recognition should be a part of your daily company culture.
It may not always be about productivity or numbers. How about giving a shoutout to whoever figured out how to download a query from the new database? Simply saying “Thank you for ________” can go a long way. If you recognize a team member for their great attitude or teamwork, they’ll be most likely to keep those good values up.
Playtime. Play some Monopoly or any other board game or activity that encourages interaction beyond work-related chit-chat. Give your employees an hour at the end of the week to hang out and have fun. You could have bi-weekly trivia tournaments or place a person/department in charge of organizing the next Friday hangout. This also promotes soft skills, like communication and planning, among your team without making it stressful.
Connect with your team. Have you seen your employees’ expression when you announce a Monday review meeting? You are not wrong to have those, of course, but you can also use meetings to learn more about your team and give them a space to voice out their ideas and concerns. These spaces are essential for letting them renew their energy and motivation.
Burnout syndrome is something that many people on your team may be suffering from right now. The fact is that many of them don’t even realize it, and those who do, don’t want to talk about it. So, in addition to steering your definition of growth away from just productivity, start applying some of these strategies to bring back some balance and nurture a more attractive work culture for top talent.
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