Help Your Employees Manage Burnout and Redefine Success

Many conversations about burnout tend to focus on prevention but the events of this past year have made it more difficult to fully avoid. Stress and exhaustion levels are reaching a high across the country, causing a shift in perspective among those eager to chase newly defined priorities and values. 

If you’re worried about the effect retention (or a lack thereof) will have on your business’ bottom line, give weight to employee well-being. More specifically, find a way to operate in tandem with newly emerging metrics of success. According to best-selling author and founder Arianna Huffington, these new metrics include “resilience, and being able to tap into our own inner peace, joy, and wonder.”

Open the Floor for Candid Conversations

You can’t fix a problem without knowing what’s causing it. For answers, turn to your employees. For quality answers, speak candidly with them.

You can approach this in a couple of ways based on the size and comfortability of your team. Surveys, for example, can be an efficient way to gather feedback across larger groups. Allowing for anonymous submissions also gives employees the chance to speak openly.

Efficiency shouldn’t be your only priority, however. And anonymity makes it more difficult to tailor your response to individual needs.

Take time to sit down with employees and listen to how they’re feeling. Use their insights to identify trends and shape actionable next steps. Forward momentum that is both thoughtful and consistent will go a lot further than quick, overnight fixes.

Explore Different Types of Communication

Incorporating more candid conversations and check-ins with your employees will be an ongoing, long-term game. In the short-term, making simple changes around how you communicate can go a long way.

For starters, consider ditching video call requirements for remote workers. On-screen fatigue is real and can be remedied through other methods of communication.

With a tool like RingCentral, project management discussions, real-time chat, video, and phone calls are available through one centralized platform. Rather than force every meeting to happen via video, hop on the phone or send a chat. Better yet, ask attendees what they’d prefer — or if a meeting is even necessary for what needs to be answered or achieved.

Want to have better virtual meetings? Check out this handy checklist from Microsoft to create meetings with intention.

Spark Interest with a New Project, Role, or Responsibility

It’s not your responsibility as a manager to dictate the career path of your employees. If someone vocalizes dissatisfaction with their current role, however, it is your responsibility to support them on their path towards something different.

You may not be able to transition an employee into a completely new position right away so start small. Work with them to identify what they enjoy most about their job and how those activities can be further amplified through new roles and responsibilities.

Reframe How You Think About Time Off

Not every business model is equipped to offer unlimited PTO. And really, unlimited PTO and surprise days off here and there won’t solve the underlying issue that is burnout. Especially if the thought of returning to work after the fact fills employees with dread.

Use the above tips to create a workplace environment people enjoy both being at and away from — one that integrates humanity into its operations and measures success as a factor of employee happiness over profit alone. It’s an approach to retention that will benefit the health of both your people and business in the long run.

By Staples Canada

August 24, 2021