7 Tips to Prevent Employee Burnout

by Dr. Christine Izuakor | Jul 10, 2019

7 Tips To Avoid Employee Burn Out

Employees know that too much work and not enough play leads to exhaustion and burnout. The World Health Organization now officially recognizes ‘occupational burnout” as a cause of mental and physical health problems in the workplace. In the new edition of International Classifications of Diseases (ICD-11) effective in 2022, burnout is defined as “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.”

The World Health Organization’s focus on the topic has led to discussions about shaping a more precise definition, finding methods for measurement and implementing new policies to manage chronic workplace stress. Strategies like agreeing to flexible hours, promoting work/life balance and providing opportunities to pursue wellness both in and out of the office have proven effective in promoting employee productivity and preventing burnout.

Burnout by the Numbers

According to the Gallup polling organization, numbers reveal that burnout can have a dire effect on employees. A whopping 63% of workers who suffer from burnout are more likely to take a sick day than those who are satisfied with their jobs. A full 23% are more likely to visit the emergency room than other workers. Employees with burnout are 13% less confident in their job performance, leading to low morale that can be difficult to reinstate. Only half of employees with burnout are likely to discuss how to approach performance goals with their manager. And, notably, employees suffering from burnout are 2.6 times more likely to leave their current job and seek employment elsewhere. Clearly, occupational burnout is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. So, what can managers do to prevent burnout and keep their workers engaged and productive?

Proactive Tips for Preventing Burnout

While poor management, unreasonable workloads and unfair compensation are major contributors to burnout, sometimes an easy fix like a social half hour or scheduling a “walk-and-talk” meeting for a change of scenery can make a world of difference. Managers who are made aware of situations that can lead to burnout can make changes before employees become exhausted, stressed and less productive.

Here are some strategies that have proven effective for preventing employee burnout:

  1. Treat Employees Fairly

    Employees who believe that they have been treated unfairly in the workplace are more than twice as likely to experience burnout. Sometimes workers experience racial or gender bias, or they may notice that some co-workers are routinely treated with favoritism. When employees realize that they are unfairly compensated compared to others in similar positions they may eventually experience burnout.

  2. Assign a Realistic Workload

    An unmanageable workload can make employees feel overwhelmed and they may perform poorly as a result. Too much responsibility can initiate a vicious cycle where the worker’s self-confidence plummets, resulting in feelings of burnout leading to decreased productivity. Managers who listen to their employees’ concerns and offer the help and resources they need to get the job done can prevent burnout from the stress of an unrealistic workload.

  3. Set Reasonable Deadlines

    You have probably heard the expression; do you want it fast or do you want it right? Employees who take pride in their work need time to do a good job. Sometimes that means producing a rough draft or outline, letting it sit for a while and then tweaking it until it works. Setting realistic deadlines can avoid problems when the task is completed in a rush and help employee stay focused, engaged and productive.

  4. Recognize a Job Well Done

    Positive feedback for a job well done can go a long way in making employees feel they are working toward a shared goal as part of a team. Managers can create a culture of recognition so workers feel that their work is valued and that they are secure in their positions. Employers can reward employees with time off, a special parking space or a simple “thank you” in the presence of their peers.

  5. Provide Flexibility

    Remote working arrangements on a full or part time basis and flexible schedules can help to reduce employee stress and prevent burnout. Managers who allow workers to eliminate their commute to the office at least some of the time and reduce their work-life conflicts such as the ability to drop off the kids at school in the morning can expect appreciation and possibly extra effort on the part of the employee to continue with the arrangement. 

  6. Encourage Vacations

    People need breaks to unplug, unwind and relax their mind. In our interconnected electronic world employees often feel the need to be “on” all day, every day – even on weekends. Cell phones make it easy to contact workers wherever they happen to be, and whatever they happen to be doing, even outside of working hours. Real, rejuvenating vacations can clear the mind, so employees come back refreshed and more effective.

  7. Promote Wellness

Exercise produces endorphins in the brain that act as natural painkillers and improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress and prevents burnout. Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy and even taking a few deep breaths can cause the body to produce endorphins. Managers can give employees the time for wellness in the office or provide a discount to a local gym.

Tracking Burnout

Veriato is an Employee Productivity Monitoring tool that can help you stay on top of employee behavior symptomatic of burnout and promote productivity in the workplace. Our system can track and record your employee online activity to ensure compliance with company policies. We provide video playback of all onscreen activity and alerts when necessary. Our daily, weekly and monthly reports inform you of the productivity of each worker. The Veriato system can monitor remote worker productivity as well as in-office worker productivity.

With Veriato, you will be notified of any suspicious activity and you will see who is working hard, and who isn’t. Knowing if a productivity problem exists will allow you to increase your management effectiveness and ultimately the productivity of your employees.

To find out more about the Veriato employee monitoring system and how it can help you increase productivity, visit Veriato.com or call 1-888-598-2788.