Three ways to combat employee burnout
With most businesses offering their employees a combination of days at home and in the office, it looks like hybrid working is becoming a new normal. But one aspect of this ‘work from anywhere’ journey that was perhaps less expected was the rise of employee burnout. After all, how could you possibly be more stressed when your commute is less than ten steps away, you can wear loungewear to work and are no longer under the careful observation of your boss?
2/3 workers say the pandemic has made employee burnout worse
However, a recent survey by Indeed Jobs found that two-thirds of workers say that the pandemic has in fact worsened employee burnout, which demonstrates how it is an issue bubbling under the surface. With another study finding that poor mental health – which is tightly connected to burnout – costs UK enterprises up to £45 billion a year it is clear how this can quickly become a costly problem.
So, what exactly is burnout and what can you do to prevent it? According to the World Health Organisation, burnout is a result of ‘chronic workplace stress that has been unsuccessfully managed’, with common symptoms being fatigue, an inability to concentrate and irritability to name just a few.
How can employers take more responsibility for their workforces’ wellbeing and successfully manage work-induced stress before it becomes a bigger problem? In this blog we’re going to be looking at three signs of burnout and some approaches to help combat them.
Working from home, alongside the realities of the past year, has undoubtedly made us all rethink our priorities. In turn this has aggravated one element of burnout – a feeling of disconnect from your work, which can promote a pattern of unproductivity. With a recent survey finding that over two thirds of respondents reported feeling less connected with their colleagues as a result of isolated working, it clear to see how COVID has made it harder for employees to connect with their work life.
Over 2/3 of employees feel less connected with their colleagues
As a result, companies need to recognise that traditional HR methods are no longer compatible with how employees expect to receive and respond to information, especially when technology is such an integrated part of their working day. Workforces want to interact in an effortless way and achieving this through an App is becoming increasingly popular among modern employers.
By giving staff access to a platform where the business can share information such as insights into recent projects, wellbeing seminars or updates on the latest bake-off competition, businesses can get people involved in the company culture once again. It’s all about reminding staff why they wanted to work for you in the first place so that they feel energised and aspire to do their job to the best of their ability.
Feeling isolated is another symptom of burnout that can contribute to feelings of fatigue and a difficulty concentrating. This is exacerbated by the stigma surrounding employees voicing feelings of burnout because they believe that it will put them at a disadvantage. This grows with the seniority of the role and can manifest with thoughts of being overlooked for a promotion or even being snubbed by other colleagues.
This is because symptoms of burnout can often be misconceived as laziness or an inability to do one’s job. As an employer it is often difficult to approach this subject or even have enough time to recognise the symptom in the first place. That is why one of the most effective ways to tackle this problem is to lead by example.
An App is perfect for this purpose as it places all colleagues on the same playing field and gives businesses a platform where stories can be shared instantly. This is great opportunity for senior members of the team to share their struggles or even post polls to further understand your teams’ unique situation. By acknowledging how hard it can be and simply listening, you can ease these symptoms of burnout before they escalate further.
Feeling underappreciated is something we can all sympathise with, however it can become a more severe problem if it’s happening frequently. This feeling has been increased by hybridised working and one of the reasons for this is accountability. Employees are missing out on those little nudges of reassurance from colleagues and management that tell them that they’re on the right track, which can create a bubble of uncertainty.
Are managers happy with their work? Are they doing enough? Are their colleagues outperforming them? It’s easy to see how this could turn into a spiral of stress and self-doubt, which could result in consistent overworking. A recent study found that UK employees currently work an average 7.8 hours per week of unpaid overtime, almost a full hour more than the Europeans average, which is simply not sustainable.
So as an employer what can you do to prevent this? Schedule check-ins with your team, either through instant messaging or video calls and talk them through their progress. Letting them know where they stand will demystify some of their concerns and free them up to work more effectively, without fear or worry. This will fight feelings of burnout caused by constant overworking because they will be able to manage their workload more effectively.
Employee burnout is a frequent problem and can wreak havoc on the efficiency of a workplace. It’s evident that employers need to take more accountability when it comes to their employee’s welfare and invest in more effective strategies to address the rise of burnout. However, this is achievable by being extra diligent and utilising digital platforms to provide a greater support network for your workforce. So, don’t be afraid to listen to what your team are asking for and make sure that you are ready to adapt accordingly.
Engage4 for addressing employee burnout
With Engage4, your team will feel connected wherever they are. Got a message from the CEO? It’s easy to push out via the Engage4 app. Need to set up various channels for chatting and sharing, or organise video check-ins with individual team members? Engage4 can house all of that without the need for third-party software and dozens of logins. Even new hires will feel right at home as soon they join your company, with an inclusive onboarding process already built into the Engage4 app, from welcome videos to documents – all available at the tap of a screen.
Engage4 is an app that’s built around community, so it’s the only tool your business should need to keep your dispersed workforce in touch with one another and on task. It’s also a great way of managing teams from a team leader perspective. Managers can run surveys and polls, set up wellbeing goals, track breaks and publicly acknowledge and reward staff when targets are hit.
All of this can be tailored from department to department or business to business. From busy sales teams to hard-working developers, the Engage4 app can be highly customised to ensure your newly dispersed team remain together in spirit, if not always in person.
Engage4 is an all-encompassing solution that helps you connect, onboard, unite and retain your valuable team members.