It starts out wonderfully. Your company hires a new employee, and they’re a superstar. They’re at work early, stay until projects are completed, give creative input and just are all around great at what they do. Then, something changes.
They start lagging when it comes to finishing tasks, and their general interest and enthusiasm seems to disappear. Are they ready to leave the company? Maybe not quite yet, but they’re almost certainly experiencing employee burnout.
Employee burnout is a huge problem for businesses large and small. It leads to lower productivity levels and a lower quality of overall work. You may be paying for that superstar you initially hired, but hardly getting the same value.
So what can you do?
The best thing to do is take certain steps to help your employees avoid burnout altogether, rather than trying to fix the problem when it’s already happening.
Know the Causes of Burnout
The best way, as a business leader, to help your employees avoid burnout? Understand the root causes. Some of the primary reasons your employees could start feeling less-than-enthusiastic include a lack of understanding as to what it is their job role is, a lack of support from coworkers and supervisors, and the feeling they’re out of control in their job or have no participation role when it comes to how decisions are made in the workplace.
The more employees can feel like they’re in control of their work situation, their role and the decisions that are happening around them, the more likely they are to remain productive and not feel burned out. One of the best things you can do to maximize your employees is giving them a sense of autonomy when it comes to how projects are completed, and also to ask for their frequent feedback. You can similarly provide feedback, but make sure it’s truly valuable and not intended as a constant criticism.
Implement An Employee Wellness Program
Beyond the Office Door published a comprehensive guide to employee wellness, and in it, they stated that there is a direct link between performance and health. If you work to develop an employee wellness program that will keep them active, engaged and interested, the benefits are likely to spill over into their job performance as well. Employee wellness programs shouldn’t just be something designed for cost savings. They should really be something honest into the needs of employees, and something they will use and derive actual benefits from.
As a final tip, sometimes all it takes to prevent employee burnout or even alleviate it once it’s set in, is to recognize employees for their efforts and good work. Those companies that have defined employee recognition programs tend to have more engaged employees. Recognition can come from an informal pat on the back, or it could be part of a formalized program where recognition is company-wide. Perhaps it’s a mix of both, but however it’s delivered, it’s essential.
The above tips are low-cost ways to make sure your employees feel engaged over the long-term and don’t start turning into workplace zombies with no interest in their work.