Supervisors are more focused than ever on creating a positive employee experience. High levels of employee satisfaction can lead to increased productivity and retention. On the other hand, employees will be more prone to burnout if they are stressed and feel undervalued. Employee burnout leads to decreased performance and lower retention rates. As a supervisor, you play a pivotal role in ensuring your employees don't suffer from burnout and, instead, thrive at your organization. This blog examines employee burnout and discusses some of the most effective ways to avoid it within your organization.
What is Employee Burnout?
Burnout is known as a condition of mental or physical exhaustion caused by excessive stress in the workplace. Burnout can affect both supervisors and employees. Often, burnout starts slow and gradually builds over time. If supervisors and employees get burned out, they will often feel defeated, cynical, detached, and even helpless. As a result, they carry an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction in the workplace, which can negatively impact their coworkers and customers.
The Warning Signs of Employee Burnout
Employee burnout happens when the workload is consistently overwhelming and there is a lack of support and resources. This leads to employees feeling unmotivated and spending most of their time thinking about how they can make a change to a new job.
Here are some common warning signs of employee burnout:
- Increased irritability, argumentativeness, or hypersensitivity
- Mental, emotional, or physical exhaustion
- Decreased productivity
- Detachment from meetings or projects
- Poor job performance
- Symptoms such as heart palpitations, dizziness, headaches, or shortness of breath
How Supervisors Can Avoid Employee Burnout
If you observe warning signs of employee burnout, it's important to take action. Here are some of the most effective ways supervisors can help their employees avoid burnout:
1. Ask Your Employees for Feedback Regularly
As a supervisor, you must ensure that your employees' voices are heard. Make time to regularly engage with your employees. If you sense burnout in one of your employees, schedule a meeting with them to discuss it. While managing stress isn't always easy, your employees will appreciate having a supervisor who addresses their concerns.
2. Monitor and Adjust Workloads as Needed
If your employees are overwhelmed, they probably feel like they can never catch up. Supervisors can help employees by making sure workloads are distributed evenly across employees. In addition, supervisors should monitor employee productivity and performance consistently to gauge if adjustments need to be made.
3. Recognize and Reward a Job Well Done
Even for your employees who shun the limelight, the reality is every employee wants to feel valued. As a supervisor, you will be amazed at the positive effect a simple pat on the back can have on an employee's well-being. Moreover, supervisors can go the extra mile by giving employees gift cards or bonuses for outstanding work. The more valued and recognized your employees feel, the more satisfied they will be in their jobs. Higher levels of job satisfaction will ultimately lead to decreased burnout rates within your workforce.
4. Don't Underestimate the Power of PTO
Are your employees getting enough paid time off (PTO)? Supervisors mustn't make the mistake of being stingy with PTO days. PTO days are critical for giving your employees the time to relax and rejuvenate, especially after stressful weeks or months of work. It's also important to understand that some employees choose not to use all of their PTO. For these employees, it's important to ensure they don't get burned out. Your role as a supervisor is to encourage them to use their PTO days, even if they don't think their workload will allow it. Doing so will help them avoid burnout and increase their likelihood of thriving within your organization.