Practical Ways to Fight Burnout in a Team


Practical Ways to Fight Burnout in a Team

Burnout isn’t only caused by long working hours and a high-demand environment. It’s the response to a complex set of causes. In most cases, burnout is expressed through three main symptoms:

  • Exhaustion – Is the result of employees’ lack of emotional resources that are required for coping with the work environment.
  • Cynicism – Exhausted employees are usually disgruntled, and they have a distant attitude towards their job.
  • Inefficiency – The combination of exhaustion and cynicism negatively affects employee efficiency and productivity.

Factors that influence employee burnout

When it comes to employee burnout, prevention is always the best cure. That’s why managers should know the work-related factors that influence this occurrence. These include:

  • High workloads and unreasonable demands – Work overload is the most common cause of employee burnout. Instead of adding more tasks to busy employees, managers should reassess their workload and try to schedule their work more evenly.
  • Conflicting job demands – Every team needs to have a clear hierarchical structure and a transparent decision-making process.
  • Lack of resources – Employers need to make sure that employees have all the necessary equipment and training to execute their tasks effectively.
  • Lack of participation – Even the low-level employees should be involved in the company’s decision-making process.
  • No feedback – Managers need to give feedback to their employees on a regular basis.

In addition to the six most common causes of work-related stress, employee burnout can also be influenced by personal factors or the deadly cocktail of personal and work-related causes.

How to fight burnout?

There are many practical ways to fight employee burnout within the team. Some of these techniques require companies to invest money in improving employees’ state, while others are completely free and easy to implement. We’ll start with the easiest techniques that can be implemented on a daily basis:

  1. Recognition – Employees should receive their superiors’ recognition for a job well done. This way, the managers show employees that their work is worthy and valuable to the company. Praises and congrats should be given in a public place when the whole team is present, and the employer should also assign the upper management to congratulate the most efficient, successful and dedicated individuals.
  2. Keeping employees informed – We’ve already mentioned that even the low-level employees should be involved in company’s decision making process. They also need to be informed about every major step the company and the upper management is taking. This way, it will be easier for them to realize the importance of the work they’re doing.
  3. Presents – Giving presents to successful employees, is one of the ways companies can show they care. Presents need to be carefully chosen and they need to be useful to the receiver. Managers who don’t know their team members that well can always reward them with gift cards and vouchers.
  4. Fitness and Wellness – A healthy employee is also a productive employee. That’s why companies need to promote health and employee well-being. The best way to do that is by discouraging employees from eating fast food and by giving the whole team fitness and wellness club subscriptions.
  5. Flexible workhours – The advanced connectivity of the digital world, gives a chance to employers to reward their team with flexible work arrangements. Employees who conduct most of their tasks on a personal computer will be equally efficient and successful if they work from home, a café or their vacation suite. That’s why managers should allow their teams to organise and schedule their work and presence, and focus on the end result and a job well done.
  6. Team building – Sessions and events that focus on strengthening the ties within the team improve communication and prevent employee burnout in the long run. Team building sessions can take part in an office environment, guided by a psychologist. The company can also organise outdoor team building events, which can include various recreation and relaxation activities.
  7. Counselling – Every company should have a therapist or counsellor, whom employees may contact when they’re in need.
  8. Longer vacations – The vacation is the best cure for employee burnout. Employers should find a way to extend employees vacation, especially for individuals who work in highly stressful positions. Some modern tech companies reward their employees with a month or even a year off, which they can use for longer travels. These practices drastically improved team efficiency and employee loyalty.

Healthy and relaxed teams are more efficient and successful than groups of unsatisfied and disgruntled individuals. That’s why employee motivation is one of the most critical fields of HR. Large tech companies are currently setting new standards when it comes to employee motivation and benefits. If other corporate entities follow their example in the future, we’ll be heading towards a less stressful work environment, and employee burnouts will be much less common.

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