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Burnout part II: How to prevent burnout in the workplace

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

In part one of this series, we looked at how to identify burnout based on 7 key signs.

But what can you do, as an employer, to prevent it from happening in the first place?

In part two of this series, we’ll share 7 things you can do to prevent burnout and protect the health of your staff. Let's take a look.

1. Help people spot it

As with anything, education is a good first step! Help employees stay informed about what burnout is and what it looks like so they can spot it early.

If you haven’t already done so, share the 7 signs of burnout with your employees so they know that what they're experiencing is real and that it's okay to reach out for help.

2. Encourage downtime

The paradox of productivity is that we sometimes need to do less in order to do more. We’re like human battery packs that get drained throughout the day – and we don’t work well when we’re running on empty!

Downtime allows us to recharge our batteries so we can keep on focusing at our best. That’s why it’s important to create a workplace culture where breaks are respected and downtime is encouraged.

3. Foster a social environment

We humans are social creatures, and interacting with others is important to our well-being. With many of us now working remotely, isolation is a growing problem. Fostering a healthy social environment is a proactive step companies can take to look after the mental health of their staff.

Here are some ideas on how to do that, courtesy of FastCompany (and do read the full article here):

  • Facilitate more one-on-ones

  • Create a culture of personal and professional mentorship

  • Provide virtual team-building opportunities

  • Celebrate special events

  • Encourage play, games, and creative curiosity

4. Be flexible

As an employer, it’s not always possible to accommodate everything your team members need. But the more flexible you can be, the more you can help them thrive.

One way to be flexible is with schedules. Let’s say someone prefers to start an hour later and finish an hour later so they can spend more time with their kids in the morning. If you can accommodate that, do it – what benefits the employee benefits you!

Another thing to consider is being flexible with roles and tasks. Imagine if you can mix around people’s roles so each one gets to do more of what they love. This can really help boost motivation and avoid the “under-challenged” type of burnout.

5. Give rewards and recognition

When our hard work is appreciated, it inspires us to keep on going. That’s why rewards and recognition are so important.

Formal employee recognition programs are one way of implementing this practice in the workplace. These can involve anything from monetary bonuses to “employee of the month” awards.

Even more simply, it can again come down to fostering the right environment. A passing “good job” in the hallway or “thank you” on the team Slack channel can make all the difference to someone’s day. So, look for ways to make recognition an integrated part of your company culture.

6. Promote your EAP

Most employers pay for an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) to help employees and their families during challenging times. This comes at no cost to the employee and all cases are treated in confidence.

Sometimes, employees simply aren’t aware of the EAP and what it can offer them. Be sure to remind staff that help is available through the EAP and inform them of how they can access it.

Most EAP providers will also have resources they can share, be it collateral and/or webinars to help promote this awareness initiative.

7. Offer employee benefits

Does your company have an employee health benefits plan in place? Benefits programs are one of the best ways to proactively protect the mental and physical health of your employees!

Every plan is different and tailored to your organisation, but they can include benefits like:

  • Physical health checks

  • Free vaccinations

  • Discounted or subsidised access to gyms or fitness classes

  • Relaxation activities like massages

  • Mindfulness training programs

  • Group benefits pools for discounted goods and services

…and much more.

“The best part about health benefits plans is that they not only look after the health of your staff, they also show that you care. And for many people, that in itself makes all the difference in how engaged they are with their job.”

There are so many benefits you can offer your employees to keep them healthy, energised, and engaged. And they don’t even have to cost the company a cent. If you'd like to find out more about implementing an employee health benefits plan, Anista can help. Book in a chat with us today.

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