Gallop conducted a recent study of 7500 full-time employees and found that almost a quarter of them (23%) felt burned out in the office on a regular basis if not at all times. Nearly half (44%) reported experiencing burnout at some point. Employees who are on the verge of mental or emotional collapse in the workplace represent a significant challenge for employers. These employees are more prone to illnesses such as depression, coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, and more.
What Causes Employee Burnout?
Several factors contribute to employee burnout. These include:
- Difficult or impossible deadlines
- Unmanageable workload
- Unfair treatment at the office
- Limited support from management
- Working off the clock (i.e. responding to emails and text messages during off hours)
The Cost of Employee Burnout
As mentioned above, stressed out employees are more likely to experience physical and mental health issues. These medical costs translate to $125-$190 billion in health care expenses per year. Not only that, employees experiencing burnout are more likely to suffer from attendance issues (i.e. arriving late, leaving early, or calling out often). Given enough time, excessive workplace stress can result in employee turnover, which carries significant costs for businesses. With two-thirds of employees experiencing some kind of burnout, business managers need to take steps to reduce employees’ stress or be prepared to pay the costs.
How to Prevent Employee Burnout
Part of preventing burnout is ensuring smooth business operations. For managers this means:
- Knowing and cultivating employees’ strengths. When an employee is in a position that doesn’t match his or her skill set, he or she will become frustrated and disengage. Employers should take pains to match employees with jobs and tasks that allow them to utilize their skills and thrive. Encouraging employees to get involved in professional development activities can further hone their skills and motivate them.
- Working on employees’ weaknesses. While employees would prefer to play to their strengths, there will always be areas of their job that intimidate them. Instead of skirting the edges of these tasks, employers should encourage employees to improve their knowledge and grow in their abilities.
- Communicate often. If employers don’t communicate with their employees on a regular basis, they run the risk of overlooking employee frustrations. By maintaining frequent communications, managers and employers can identify stress points. Asking for feedback and opinions also makes employees feel like management values their opinion, which improves their overall job satisfaction. In fact, employees who feel like management supports them are 70% less likely to experience burnout.
Preventing employee burnout whenever possible is vital to keeping employees engaged and reducing absenteeism rates. If your company is struggling with poor employee attendance, contact the experts at Actec to learn how we can help.
Employee wellness programs have taken the professional world by storm, and it is easy to see why. Wellness programs can attract talented job candidates, retain existing talent, and reduce absenteeism rates. Employees who have access to a wellness program also tend to be more loyal and committed to their work. This is because they feel like their employer cares about their health and well being and thus engage more in their tasks.
However, employee wellness programs take work to be successful. Employers need to promote programs that boost wellbeing without being boring. Employees have to want to engage with the program in order to reap any benefits. Keeping wellness program initiatives light and fun can help businesses determine which programs their staff appreciates the most.
Below are several suggestions for wellness programs that are easy to implement.
- Supply healthy snacks for the office to enjoy. Nutritious snacks can help boost employees’ moods, energy level, and even help them balance their weight.
- Stop offering unhealthy snacks. This may seem the same as the above, but there is a key difference. If an office supplies both healthy and unhealthy snack and meal options, the temptation is there to indulge. By removing the majority of unhealthy foods, employees can nosh on nutritious options instead.
- Invest in standing desks. Desks that can adjust to allow employees to stand rather than sit all day can improve posture, reduce back pain, boost mood, and more.
- Opt for walking meetings. Employees spend a good part of their day sitting. Opting to hold meetings while walking gets their blood circulating, offers a change of environment, and can even boost creativity.
- Sign up for a 5K. Employers can select 5Ks that support causes near and dear to their employees. They can also offer to pay the entry charge for any employee who participates.
- Hang signs near elevators reminding employees to take the stairs.
- Employers can hold daily fitness challenges to increase office morale and inspire friendly competition. An example is a squat challenge. Employees can perform a set number of squats at the start of the challenge and increase that number by five each day. Whoever can continue beyond the set amount the longest wins that day’s challenge. Employers can offer simple prizes such as free movie tickets, free lunch, and so on.
- Employers can challenge their employees to drink eight glasses of water per day. Employers can keep track of employee’s progress for a month. At the end of the month, the winner gets a prize similar to the above challenge.
- Employers can hold a healthy cooking contest. Employees can bring in their favorite healthy recipes and vote on their favorites.
Whether your business is small or large, your employees can benefit from wellness programs. Healthy and happy employees are much less likely to become ill or experience attendance issues. To learn more about how wellness programs can assist your absence management efforts, contact the experts at Actec.