Anna Lysiuk August 12th, 2022

Stop Employee Burnout: Practical Guide for Managers

Employees often suffer burnout during stressful periods due to value disconnect, pressure, overload, and lack of managerial support. The signs of burnout include lack of concentration, physical fatigue, and reduced productivity. In the worst cases, it can cause some employees to leave their jobs. 

Managers have a role to play in reducing burnout in the workplace and increasing productivity. Knowing how to do so will help managers to retain employees and improve their overall well-being. This guide reveals the best practices for managers to reduce burnout. 

Holding walking meetings

Holding walking meetings is a great way to reduce stress and allow employees to recharge. They can get out of the office for a while and be active during the meetings. Walking meetings are more effective with small groups such as departments. Managers must ensure that the walking meetings are as productive as other meetings. 

During the meetings, teams can discuss the roadblocks they are encountering at the workplace and suggest ways to overcome the difficulties. It is also a great opportunity to share project updates, upcoming tasks, and new opportunities. People can discuss how to outsource the calling process and other non-core business activities like IT infrastructure management, HR payroll, facility management, general accounting, and more. 

Helping workers connect to their purpose

Encouraging employees to connect to their purpose can also help to prevent workplace burnout. Emotional connection to work means connection to the organization and the purpose, which could help employees cope with stressful situations. 

Managers can connect the employees' roles to the organization's vision, mission, and values. They should make people understand how their work contributes toward achieving the organizational goals. It is also important to help workers participate in job crafting, so they reflect on the meaning of their work. This causes the employees to think of how making small changes in their roles can make a difference in the organization. 

Promoting management training

There have been many cases of employees leaving their jobs due to bad bosses or poor working environment. Others prefer to stay in low-paying jobs if they are allowed to work with a great boss. If managers are not well-equipped, they can create a stressful environment, and this may hinder the achievement of organizational goals.  

Managers must provide management skills and tools, such as functional computers with advanced programs. Slow computers can reduce productivity among workers due to frequent overtime, which is a major cause of burnout. Computers often begin working slowly due to many junk files. Showing the employees how to clean up system junk can help to avoid having slow working computers and boost productivity. Optimizing your Mac to get the best performance should always be your top priority.

Prioritizing workplace health and wellness

Managers should regularly provide their staff with opportunities to be away from work or unplug. Employees can also manage stress by finding a quiet place to relax, pray and meditate. 

Investing in office aesthetics such as new pictures, plants, and inviting chairs could also create a less stressful environment. During periods of high workload and stress, managers can support their staff through mental health awareness. Other ways to promote wellness at the workplace include:

  • Allowing staff to rest
  • Encouraging staff to give back
  • Boosting morale by celebrating wins
  • Encouraging employees to remain calm during stressful periods

Maintaining flexible job options

The pandemic made many organizations shift to work-from-home or remote work mode. Many employers have known that people can be productive even when working from home. Leaders have learned how to manage remote teams and encourage collaboration. They should be open to people's circumstances and offer flexible working options.

Managers can make arrangements to allow people to work from home on a part-time basis to facilitate time management. The employees don't have to struggle with domestic activities such as medical appointments and coordinating family affairs. 

Promoting work-life balance

Maintaining a work-life balance is also a practical way to prevent burnout. Many people juggle a lot in their work, and personal lives and the line between the two can be challenging. Even with days off, some people may resist using their free time for self-development.

Taking a break to work can improve employees’ moods and boost productivity in the long run. Managers can encourage the staff to use their time to completely unplug and recharge. Organizations with flexible work schedules can offer shortened Fridays to allow employees to have long weekends, especially during summer and spring. If an employee is on vacation, bosses should avoid calling them with job-related matters. 

Encouraging social connections

Human beings are social-they cannot live in isolation- an employee will rely on their boss or other employees for support. Social support relates to factors such as well-being, stress, health, and engagement. Managers can foster community among their staff by boosting social networks and team support. Through social connections, workers can find support that can prevent stress and burnout. 

Managers can encourage employees to design plans for social connections through meeting colleagues, family members, or friends. To motivate remote employees they can also schedule regular online coffee breaks or organize virtual team-building activities. Celebrating employees and bringing teams together are also practical ways to prevent burnout and  promote a sense of belonging. 

Monitoring work schedules

One of the major causes of burnout is work overload. Leaders must ensure that employees are not tasked with unrealistic workloads or rigorous schedules. Sometimes workloads may spike, but this is not a reason to overwork people. It becomes challenging for them to sustain demanding schedules and heavy workloads.

Leaders should monitor the work schedules to improve performance and ensure business success. They can do so in the following ways:

  • Planning tasks
  • Understanding resource availability
  • Allocating tasks evenly and fairly
  • Setting priorities
  • Encouraging employees to avoid multitasking
  • Managing change effectively
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Setting realistic work deadlines

Open communication

Communication is a game-changer in any organization setup- withholding information and having minimal communication can cause stress among the staff. Managers should encourage open communication within the organization to ensure that everyone receives transparent and timely updates.

Leaders should help employees to understand expectations and how their performance can bring change to the organization. They can give members of staff opportunities to discuss stress factors and voice their frustrations. Setting feedback options could give employees a voice concerning the problems they are facing. Open communication options may help employees to relieve issues that could lead to stress and burnout. 

Offering growth opportunities

Lack of growth opportunities and advancement is a leading cause of stress in many organizations. Technology is evolving, so it is important to help employees to acquire new skills to enable them to adapt to changes in the business environment.

Employees can find new opportunities within and outside the organization. Managers should help employees to take stressful situations positively rather than see them as threats. Involving employees when setting goals makes them understand their expectations at the workplace, and this may boost their job engagement. 

Conclusion

The relationship between managers and employees helps organizations to succeed in the long run. It also offers career advancement, drives collaboration, and alleviates workplace stress and burnout. Heightened stress levels at the workplace can lead to reduced productivity, absenteeism, and employee turnover, which may be costly to the organization. Managers can implement the above strategies to prevent burnout and create a better working environment. Although other factors outside an organization could lead to stress, managers have a bigger role to play. 

Anna Lysiuk

Anna is an outreach specialist and writer. She loves everything related to marketing, professional coaching and technology trends.

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