Cynical. Critical. Crabby.
All are tell-tale signs of employee burnout and all are more common than you might think. According to Mayo Clinic, “job burnout is defined as a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
The experts at Mayo add that employee burnout is not necessarily a medical condition. Many believe that other underlying factors such as depression and feelings of being overwhelmed could be the root of the problem. Either way, as Mayo Clinic concludes that job burnout can affect both your physical and mental health.
As employee benefits providers, it’s important to recognize the signs, causes — and more importantly, how to conquer employee burnout. We have remedies that are good for employees and employers alike. Here are some insights.
Opening Up — The Perils of Employee Burnout
As employees come together and start working together again, it’s the perfect opportunity to set the stage for how to recognize employee burnout and prevent it from harming employee morale. The issue is common in the education industry as summer school and full-on return to in-person learning looms in the fall. Similarly, employees in the public sector who are now transitioning back from working remotely — and their benefits practitioners — need to be ready.
Employee burnout can play a devastating toll on mental health and hinder efforts for employees to practice healthy self-care activities. The Harvard Business Review suggests that employee burnout is the result of employer actions more than the employee. That’s why it is important for employers to recognize the signs and address them before it impacts their business negatively.
Starting the Conversation
Employees experiencing burnout are identifiable by their actions or the lack thereof. Uncharacteristic behaviors like hostility, general malaise, and a lack of productivity are clear warning signs.
When you recognize some of these behaviors in your employees, you need to deftly address them. It can be uncomfortable, but most employees are relieved when their workplace unhappiness is realized and a genuine concern about their health is expressed. You should look at workloads, colleague relationships, and expectations inherent in the position. Use these realities to create a plan of action. Making sure that employees know you are concerned while sharing a plan for a positive work-life balance can go a long way to help alleviate burnout.
Employee Health and Wellbeing
There is no greater impact employers can have on their employees than showing compassion and empathy. Work is only one part of our lives. Ensuring that balance is a priority is key to retaining quality employees while attracting future talent.
Make sure your employees know about things like paid sick leave, childcare benefits, eldercare benefits, flexible working situations, and access to resources that are available to help them. Being transparent in your benefits communications helps with workplace stress in times of need. With proper awareness, you can make a huge difference in the well-being of your team.
A few simple actions can help reduce stress and burnout among your employees. Things like exercise, mindfulness and even just chatting with colleagues about workplace stress go a long way. The first step, however, is identifying the problem and setting a stage for a healthy, happy workplace environment.
We’re Here to Help
Need a better plan or strategy to support your employees’ needs? Valley Schools can help you with a variety of employee and benefits issues — including burnout. We offer a comprehensive set of programs including our wellness program, WellStyles, that’s exclusive to Valley Schools members.
Please reach out with any questions or to get more information on partnering with us!