Over the past 3 years, workers all around the world had to adapt to the changing ways that we work as shutdowns and reopening kept us all on our toes. This, along with other concerns including health and financial uncertainties has caused a tremendous amount of stress for many people. Everyone was hoping that we’d be seeing a brighter future in 2023 as we put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror and focus on moving ahead.
According to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half across different industry sectors, more than 36% of Canadian workers have reported that they’re more burned out now than compared to a year ago. There are several culprits causing this:
- Reality not living up to the expectation and anticipation that things will be better
- Build up of stress that has accumulated over the past few years
- Years of isolation and changes to our routines and behaviours
- Employers push for return to office and the disruption of what has become the norm for the past few years
- Economic conditions leading to layoffs, thus organizations being understaffed and employees overworked
Not only are burnouts bad for the employees both mentally and physically but can affect an organization’s top and bottom line because of the domino effect it can have on everyone as it spreads. For example, if 1-in-3 employees are feeling burned out, the other two that they work closely with will feel the negative energy. And if the burned out individual were to time off, then it will directly affect the workload of the other two which will likely cause more stress and a higher chance of burnouts for them.
Employers cannot ignore this issue as it will lead to bigger problems and issues down the line. The best thing to do for any prudent employer is to watch out for the signs of employee burnouts and intervene to help prevent and / or stop it. Some of the signs include:
- Decreased productivity and reduced performance
- Highly irritable and sensitive leading to arguments and outbursts
- Disengagement or detachment with team and work
- High employee turnover
- Physical, mental or emotional exhaustion and illnesses
If employers indentify any of the above signs of employee burnouts, here are a few steps you can can take to intervene, prevent, and stop further burnouts:
1) Prioritize communication with employees and feedback
By offering a platform for employees to address the underlying issues leading to the burnouts, it gives them an outlet to explain their struggles and a way to get the message to the leadership team to know that they are being heard. From there, it’s up to management to help alleviate those stress factors and continue to monitor the effects from any changes made.
2) Evaluate workload with work balancing
Much of employee stress comes from the work itself. Employers must understand whether the amount of work assigned to an employee is reasonable or not and to balance the workload amongst the team so that everyone can work effectively.
3) Offering flexibility in work schedule and options
The topic of flexible work schedules and remote work options has been at the forefront of some disagreements between employers and employees over the past few years. With the recent trends of employers enforcing return to the office, this has reignited those conversations and organizations must evaluate the benefits and costs of such a move and how continuing to offer flexibility can lessen stress on their employees.
4) Encourage and promote employee wellness / assistance
Employers must encourage their employees to seek help and support those struggling with stress, physical / mental health illnesses. Whether it’s assistance programs that employers can offer to their employees or offering and encouraging paid time off to be used. Sometimes all it takes is some time away from the day to day grind of work to get back to a healthy mental state of mind.
5) Promote Work/Life Balance
Employers must remind their employees to maintain their work-life balance with the line having been blurred over the past few years when work has been brought into our homes. Simply encouraging regular break times throughout the day and disconnecting from work outside of business hours will go a long way.
6) Keep up with the latest tech and tools
Another contributing factor to stress is when employees are expected to perform their best but may not have the best tools and equipment to do so. It is more important than ever before to ensure employees are well equipped to perform their roles effectively without setbacks from software, equipment, or tools.
7) Evaluate measures with more focus on achieving results while balancing wellness
Employers should stop evaluating their employees based on hours of screen time but focus more on results-oriented goals. Employees have had to adapt to the way they work over the past couple of years and have found methods to success that are unique to them. If results and goals are met, but employers are focused on the wrong measures, it will be demoralizing to employees to focus their efforts also in the wrong areas.
Recognizing hard work and success alone is not enough because this could promote stress and burnouts from chasing goals. Employees should also be recognized for keeping up with their well-being and taking time to decompress and relax like taking breaks throughout the day, eating lunch away from their workstations, and taking time off from work.
8) Training leadership and leading by example on selfcare
And like every other aspect of success within an organization, it all starts from the top. Effective and proper training for the leadership and management team will go a long way to leading the team on the right path. And to get employees to buy into the notion of taking care of their well-being to avoid burnouts, employers must lead by example and do all those things they’re promoting their teams to follow.
Combating stress and burnouts is no easy feat and it takes every member within an organization to buy into the concept to develop a positive work culture free from stress. With proper leadership, encouragement, and support from employers, employees will recover from burnouts quicker and prevent any future episodes from happening again.
Contact Us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you build your team with the right talent this year!
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