Is employee burnout sabotaging your business?
By : GCE Strategic Consulting -
Is employee burnout sabotaging your business? With multiple studies finding that e-burnout is the number one threat to building an engaging workforce, many employers are starting to take note of the problem. However, the discussions surrounding e-burnout are often employee-centered and viewed as an independent problem, not a universal problem often created by and or fed by company culture. So, the real question isn’t whether or not burnout is sabotaging your business; it’s whether or not your business’s culture is contributing to it.
The E-Burnout Crisis
A quick look at the statistics by Kronos will tell you a lot about how your leadership is fueling the crisis.
In the study, The top three general burnout factors reported by employees were unfair compensation, too much after-hours work/overtime, and unreasonable workload. All of these factors indirectly fall on the employer’s shoulders. Human Resource (HR) leaders further identified burnout factors that fell directly under the leadership, including poor management, negative workplace culture, and not having a connection between an employee’s role and the corporate strategy.
More often than not, employers leave it up to the employee to both recognize and solve burnout. Requiring the employee to recognize and solve burnout is a mistake that other countries have identified in their workforces and have made efforts to correct.
In this report by The Guardian on work culture in Japan, a study found that Japanese workers work more extended hours than Americans and Brits and only missed an average of 8.8 work days per year. To combat the problem, government officials in Japan have stepped in to suggest workers leave work early on the last Friday of each month. China Youth Daily reports that some 600,000 Chinese workers die each year from guolaosi, or work exhaustion. Overwork in France became such a problem that the government enacted a law mandating that employers draw up a charter to define an employee’s work hours. This charter required employers to issue a timeframe on when to handle work-related communications.
Don’t leave this problem up to the employee or government to solve. Leaders and employers should be forging the path to prevent, recognize, and fix burnout. After all, without a healthy workforce, most businesses cease to exist.
How To Use Company Culture To Solve E-Burnout
1) Are you leading by example on things not found in the employee handbook?
In most cases, leaders obtain the position from having a hustle mentality, and then they expect the same thinking of those under them once they reach a position of authority.
Leaders, however, are forgetting three key points:
• Every single employee doesn’t desire the path to advancement.
• You now have the power to enact change.
• It would be best if you led by example.
Some employees only want to do their jobs efficiently and effectively and go home. They’re not after a promotion, and placing the stress on them to go further than their position requires is detrimental to their stress and productivity levels.
Enact change, starting with yourself. Leading by example is also a key component. It’s rather difficult to tell staff to take breaks, collaborate, delegate, and so forth if you never do it yourself.
2) Are you rewarding workaholism?
There’s a fine line between hard work and being a workaholic. While you want to praise hard work, you don’t want to enable and encourage unhealthy and unproductive actions and mindset of working too much, hard, or often.
Begin by not making the extra mile the minimum standard. Define and set boundaries for your larger work culture to adjust how you treat and define “hard work” within the company. You can set up end times for meetings so that they don’t go on too long. Another implementation is in limiting work, such as answering emails and taking phone calls, being completed outside regular office hours. Some other tips include:
• Don’t emphasize failures while ignoring accomplishments.
• Focus rewards to serve employee stress, such as gym memberships,
• Implement fun ways to get tedious, time-consuming, and monotonous tasks done, such as gamification of in-service programs.
3) Do you have a work environment conducive to e-burnout?
Change is a necessary part of combating e-burnout, and this change can’t just come from supervisors and HR. It has to begin and end with the long-term company culture you’re creating.
Take a look at the areas contributing to stress, malfunction, productivity problems, communication lapses, and heavy workloads. Are there opportunities to change any consistently wrong processes and systems? Do any tasks need to be redistributed to ease heavy workload positions? Are there areas of disconnect and discontent that can be modified to prevent employees from becoming overwhelmed and overworked?
A crucial factor of the environment is within communication processes. Is the workplace environment creating a culture of open, transparent communication? Employees must be able to trust that leadership values their complaints, concerns, and suggestions. They should feel comfortable speaking to anyone and everyone in authority when they feel the stressful pull of burnout. Without this safe and open line of communication, most other efforts to prevent e-burnout are destined to fail. Here are some environment tips:
• Build a strong sense of community.
• Offer employees a say in policy where and when you can.
• Ensure all employees know updated policies and procedures.
• Make every employee feels heard and as they belong.
• Leaders should have an open door policy for all comments, problems, and suggestions.
• Provide on-demand feedback.
• Use communication moments to listen for who needs help, when, and how they need help.
• Ensure employees know the lines and details of their roles and capacities.
4) Are you properly training your employees?
Do managers know the red flags of burnout, such as a previous go-getter employee becoming complacent and uninterested? Does your corporate policy require burnout to be addressed immediately upon symptoms or wait until the employee voices a burnout complaint?
Also, keep in mind that your employee training should go beyond direct e-burnout content. Offering employees seminars, in-service hours, and workshops can help bridge the skill and knowledge gaps that often cause job-related stress and help educate employees on time management and productivity skills to ensure that work hours run smoothly and efficiently.
In closing, remember that prevention is the best cure. Utilize the best tool at your disposal – your business culture – to 1) prevent 2) recognize and 3) fix employee burnout.
You can read more about how to take care of employees here. Most founders, CEO and Visionaries make many of the mistakes above. Having qualified integrator to build a culture of productivity without burnout is key. Contact us today if you are interested in learning about how we can help you find a Full-Time or Part-Time Integrator for your business.