Burnout is one of the most common work-related mental health issues. It is a worker’s reaction to sustained chronic job stress, manifesting in negative behaviors and emotions. You may not realise that burnout has taken its toll in recent years, and for your business to thrive in 2023, you need to focus on your staff’s well-being and mental health. Failing to do so puts you at risk of seeing productivity and morale erode and losing talented employees.
Here’s what you can do to prevent burnout in your employees!
What is Burnout, and Why is it a Problem?
Burnout or “burnout syndrome” is the most common adverse reaction to work stress. Although it is not classified as a medical condition, the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers occupational burnout as an occupational phenomenon resulting from chronic and unmanaged work stress.
According to the WHO, burnout has three dimensions:
- Feelings of exhaustion or physical and mental exhaustion
- Increased mental detachment or feelings of negativity or cynicism related to one’s work
- Reduced effectiveness and lack of achievement
Take, for example, the case of the construction sector, with tight delivery deadlines and stress and workload being common. High budgets are handled, and delays can mean an unaffordable extra cost, which generates tension during the execution of the projects to finish on time.
Overwork is also related to inadequate planning, high workloads, incidents, delays, unforeseen events, and a lack of people-oriented leadership.
Employers often are unaware of their employee’s mental health, which could cost them dearly in the long term. Recent research by the McKinsey Health Institute surveyed over 4000 Middle Eastern employees and found that almost two-thirds have poor mental health. In addition, burnout was reported by every one in three workers.
The findings of this survey point toward the need for targeted actions on the part of Middle Easter employers to improve their employees’ well-being and reduce burnout.
As an employer, you must help your employees find a healthier work-life balance to manage work stress better. This will improve your results and give you a good reputation with potential candidates in the future.
Let’s discuss the different strategies you can implement to reduce burnout in the workplace!
Strategies to Reduce Employee Burnout in the Workplace
Below are some of the most effective ways to make your employees happier, encourage them to take time to recover, build resilience, and let them know you value them:
1. Health Benefits of Vacations
Time off is one of the most effective remedies for burnout. A recent study indicates that workers worldwide are so desperate for a vacation that more than 35% of them lie to their employers about why they took sick leave. The same survey showed that the lack of time off is a major factor in the deterioration of employees’ mental health and well-being.
Giving employees time off and giving them time to re-energise is one of the most effective and healthy ways to combat burnout and other work-related mental health issues. A little time off to relax, spend time with family, or get some fresh air can make all the difference when it comes to mental health.
2. Assess Employee Workload
Heavy workloads and unrealistic deadlines usually cause worker burnout and stress. Assessments to spot overworked employees will help you better allocate responsibilities and see which departments are understaffed. By performing these assessments regularly, you will be able to more easily protect your employees’ mental health and keep an eye on the daily obstacles and challenges your company faces.
To make this approach even more effective, ask all your employees each quarter to tell you about the issues crucial to them and your organisation. Once you’ve assessed the workload, unload some of it by reducing unachievable or non-urgent tasks.
3. Create a Strong Company Culture
Focus on creating a strong company culture where employees are encouraged to say no to something or share if they’re overwhelmed, a culture where no one has to work under pressure. Organise weekly meetings to stay in touch with what they’re up to and if they’re having trouble meeting their deadlines.
4. Ensure Mental Health Services are Covered by the Benefits Program
Mental health is just as important as physical health. That’s why if you really care about the well-being of your employees, developing a mental health program that includes the support of a therapist is essential. And if your company favors working from home, therapists are offering virtual consultations, which is a great way to combat burnout and stress.
According to PWC research, companies can earn more than double ($2.3) on every dollar they spend on making their workplaces mentally healthy. The link is clear: a mentally healthy employee is more productive and less absent.
5. Encourage Taking Regular Breaks
Telecommuting may have blurred the lines between work and personal life. The result is that employees work too much, do not take regular breaks, and become very stressed.
To remedy this problem, encourage your employees to take regular breaks throughout the day as if they were still working in the office. A break is getting away from your computer for a few minutes to make yourself a coffee, walk 10 minutes to stretch your legs, and take the time to eat dinner.
Your employees are important, and so is their mental health. By reducing employee burnout and encouraging positive mental health practices at work, you will boost your employees’ morale and business. Happy, healthy employees are more productive and innovative and tell everyone about their great employer. Everybody wins!
For onboarding process support, training, and mentoring, contact Quanterra Group, an agency based in Dubai that can help employers across the Middle East to settle recruits well into the company.
Get in touch with the Quanterra team today and get ongoing support and mentoring to help settle your employees well into your company!