We’ve all been there: feeling exhausted after a stressful work week and dreaming of a Caribbean vacation. The reality is, it’s often more than an occasional occurrence. Studies show that nearly 91% of U.S. workers say they are experiencing some degree of burnout, yet work-life balance remains more of a buzzword than a solution at many workplaces. What’s more, it could be leading to poor employee retention as employees feel overwhelmed and move on to new opportunities.
Luckily, implementing a strategy to address burnout doesn’t have to be complicated. It comes down to assessing existing workloads and helping your employees make time to unplug. Here are some things to keep in mind as you work on preventing burnout at your company.
Streamline employee workflows
It might sound easier said than done but streamlining the workflows of your team members is entirely possible. The best way to address it is to sit down with your management team and go through each team’s tasks and how they’re distributed. Start by categorizing the tasks in order of priority, then look for areas where processes can be improved. If you notice that certain tasks can be eliminated or outsourced, aim to take these off your team’s plates so that they can focus their energy on more high-impact projects.
Pro Tip: Whenever possible, automate simple tasks. This can include everything from billing to interview scheduling and should focus on things that can be easily handled with software solutions. In addition to being a great way to streamline processes, this can also improve efficiency for the entire team.
Encourage employees to make the most of their PTO
Many of us are guilty of not taking enough vacations, and it’s becoming a problem for workers across the country. According to a recent report by Project Time Off, 54% of American workers don’t use their earned days off and the U.S. is one of the few developed nations without a mandated vacation policy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t establish an effective one for your company. Start by determining the amount of vacation that works best for your organization, and encourage employees to make the most of the time they have. This includes taking mental health days as needed and unplugging completely when not in the office.
Pro Tip: Make it a point to emphasize your vacation policy to new hires and through regular communication with your team. This is a great way to let your employees know that you value their downtime and that you support them taking the vacation time they need.
Make work-life balance a genuine priority
In our ‘always on’ world, it can be hard to disconnect from work but it’s important to do so to prevent burnout. Like taking time off, achieving a good work-life balance starts at the top so it’s important that your managers make it a priority to encourage healthy work-life boundaries. The best way to do this is to set clear expectations when it comes to working hours and stick to those expectations even during stressful times.
Pro Tip: While it may be tempting to occasionally send emails in the evenings or on weekends, doing so goes against promoting an effective work-life balance. Make it a point to limit emails (or even Slack messages) to designated working hours, allowing your team members to fully step away from work at other times.
Burnout may sound like just another buzzword, but it can have pretty significant consequences — including work dissatisfaction and absenteeism. Prioritizing a good balance for your team members can help you avoid this, while also leading to improved morale and a greater overall sense of wellbeing. The key to doing it right is to streamline workflows and put in place clear-cut time-off policies, making a more balanced work style a part of your company’s culture.
Want to improve your workplace even further? Learn how to retain your top performers and how to make age diversity a priority at your company.