Working at a desk and staring at a computer all day can be a grind.
It can become dull and boring, and sometimes you just want to take a six-month vacation. We’ve all been there. So, as managers and employers, how do you keep your expectations high and increase employee performance without suffering the consequences of burnout?
The first step is to recognize the problem and how your employees are feeling. Talk to them and get their feedback on what is making them feel overwhelmed or getting in the way of their productivity.
Causes of Employee Burnout
While the reasons behind workplace fatigue will vary per the circumstances, there are some common causes of employee burnout. A few of them include:
- Unbalanced job demands
- Lack of feedback
- Little say in decision making
- Improper training
- Lack of reward and recognition
All the above issues can lead to burnout and an inability to meet goals. They can lower employee productivity, commitment and engagement. So how can we prevent this from taking place?
Satisfying Your Employee’s “Energy Needs”
The author of “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working” Tony Schwartz says that employees perform better when “four core energy needs” are met. These four energy needs are:
- Sufficient rest (including the opportunity for sporadic renewal during the work day)
- Feeling valued and appreciated
- Having the freedom to focus in an absorbed way on the highest priorities
- Feeling connected to a mission or a cause greater than ourselves.
Now to make sure all these four core energy needs are met, here is a list of 10 things to help prevent burnout and increase employee performance:
- Be realistic when assigning tasks. Don’t give your employee something you know that they can’t handle. Don’t let them become overwhelmed.
- Don’t go overboard with deadlines. Make sure your deadlines aren’t too strict and consider your employee’s ability to actually meet them.
- Increase employee recognition and engagement. People like to be praised for the good work they do. They like to know that they are needed within their organization. By using the right tools and strategies you can make sure your employees are getting the proper recognition and boost engagement.
- Encourage socializing. An adequate amount of time for socializing is great for team bonding. If your employees feel like they have friends at work, they are more likely to enjoy their jobs and remain loyal to the company.
- Promote A fun-friendly culture Planning company activities that give employees a break from the daily grind and a chance to replenish their energy is a great way to promote both job satisfaction and productivity.
- Give proper resources. You want to make sure that your team has everything they need to get their job done. Make sure they have all the necessary equipment, the right training, and resources.
- Be supportive. While constructive criticism can be a great way to improve performance, employees also require a supportive environment to perform at their peak.
- Be fair. Nothing makes a person feel less inclined to perform at their best then when someone else gets recognition or credit for the wrong reasons.
- Promote Open Communication. When your employees feel valued they are more likely to contribute their ideas and work toward making your company’s vision a reality.
- Be flexible. Sometimes letting your employee work from home once a week can boost their productivity. Or letting them leave early so they can see their daughter’s soccer game. Workplaces that are too rigid often produce dissatisfied employees and high turnover rates.
How happy are your employees really? By making employee engagement and satisfaction a priority, you will see an improvement in both productivity and morale. Creating a company culture that promotes well being, communication, collaboration and recognition can go a long way toward a happy, healthy and productive workforce.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.