Employee burnout - it’s an alarmingly all too common word used to explain reasons for turnover rates, decreasing engagement and more. And, according to recent research, millennials seem to be particularly affected by it: 84% say they’ve experienced burnout in their present position.
This is, sadly, not shocking news given the way we work has had a complete overhaul since the lockdowns. As a consequence of the pandemic, the decades-old business model of rigid office-based working has been disrupted as the vast majority of organisations have pivoted to a hybrid or remote working model.
This has spurred a series of challenges including rising mental health issues and a decline in the importance and effectiveness of work. And this, in turn, has contributed to a high rise in employee burnout.
Side note: If you’re interested in learning more about how this shift in working patterns has affected employee behaviour, you can download our report: The Destruction of the Old Business Model and an Opportunity for Rebirth.
So what can organisations do to support their staff and help them avoid burnout?
What leads to burnout?
According to the World Health Organisation, burnout is defined as a ‘syndrome caused by chronic workplace stress that’s characterised by feelings of exhaustion or energy depletion, negative or cynical feelings related to a job, and reduced professional efficacy.’
It is usually the result of a prolonged period of high levels of stress often seen in poorly managed teams or toxic work environments. In fact, according to a Gallup study, the five main causes of burnout are:
- Unfair treatment in the workplace
- Workloads that are unmanageable and/or unrealistic
- Lack of clarity regarding job expectations
- Poor communication and support from the management team
- Unreasonable deadlines
How to reduce burnout in the workplace
There are several ways your organisation can get involved at an early stage to prevent employee burnout, for example:
Your leadership team plays a crucial role in preventing burnout because, as the saying goes, employees don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers. And our latest report found that almost half of managers have said their team was facing either a ‘communication breakdown’ or ‘worsening relationship’ since 2020.
Managers are key to encouraging employee engagement and making employees feel they have someone to talk to about their struggles. Teaching managers the importance of mental health while simultaneously training them on how to spot the telltale symptoms of burnout will go a long way.
At PUSH, we offer highly personalised management training programmes run by leading behavioural specialists, leadership coaches and performance experts. They share practical and hand on tools, techniques and strategies to help your team maximise innovation, foster commitment and support employee mental health.
- Teach stress management techniques
High levels of stress not only increase the risk of burnout but can also lead to common mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression.
Even the best workplaces go through periods of stressful work schedules, so avoiding work stress altogether is not a realistic option. However, teaching employees to recognise the signs of stress, and supporting them with stress management techniques, will help foster better employee mental health.
At PUSH, we offer stress-busting workshops on a variety of topics including rituals and strategies to wind down the workday and how to build better boundaries and resilience. Sound interesting? Find out more about what we do.
Prioritise mental health and wellbeing
This is a no-brainer, but a number of studies have shown that maintaining a work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace.
But interestingly enough, different employees will have different perceptions of what work-life balance means to them. And according to this Forbes article, this varies particularly depending on generational differences. For example, Baby Boomers may prioritise employee work perks, such as the ability to have more flexible working hours, while Millennials may want to experience a greater sense of purpose at work. Offering your team members a number of options to choose from will work a treat to help keep different age groups happy.
And while allowing them to prioritise their health and wellbeing is crucial to maintain a happier workforce, a happier workforce will also benefit the organisation in the long run as a result of higher productivity rates, lower turnover and less absenteeism.
Employee workshops to prevent burnout
If you’re worried about employee burnout at your organisation, you’ve come to the right place. At PUSH, we help forward-thinking companies prepare their people to thrive at work through our empowering mental health, corporate wellbeing, development and leadership training.
Our first point of call is to audit what’s really going on with your people to get a better understanding of which needs to prioritise. We then create bespoke and highly personalised programmes of live training, 1-1 coaching and digital tools that we know your people want and need.
Find out more about what we do to Make Work Better and get in touch to get started today.
more articles by Cate Murden