4 Ways to Keep from Creating Burnouts

burnoutBurnout is a harsh reality during times of downsizing and belt tightening in all its other forms.  I’m sure most of us have seen the face of burnout, and it’s not pretty.  Employees who were once among the top performers become lax, respond more slowly to concerns or issues and their stress levels go through the roof.

No one is immune to burnout; for some, it’s just a question of how long they’ll last before quality starts to slip and customer satisfaction is on the decline.

A recent Towers Perrin study showed that as many as 38 percent of employees worldwide are partly – or entirely! – disengaged.  Another revealed that, of the 45 million workers surveyed, 63 percent are under high stress, feel fatigued and generally feel out of control, leading to reduced productivity and more time out of the office.  Burnout is disastrous for retention and brand reputation, so it’s imperative to avoid it as much as possible, and combat it when you recognize the signs.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Set SMART Objectives, (Specific/Stretching, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound)

Make sure the goals you’re setting can be reasonably achieved.  If objectives are unattainable, workers will either overwork themselves trying to meet expectations or – worse – they won’t make much of an attempt to meet the goals, knowing that doing so is impossible.

2. Encourage days off.

The best way to avoid burnout is taking time to recharge.  If your staff are consistently working through lunch, coming in on the weekends and putting off vacations because of work-related pressures, you’ve probably got some vacancies on the horizon.

3. Foster work-life balance.

Part of encouraging time off is allowing for it.  Maintain reasonable working hours and monitor employees’ time to ensure they’re not consistently putting in more time than is normal.

4. Show your team they’re valued.

Managers should be recognizing positive contributions and rewarding them.  Failing to praise your staff for their hard work (and to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to rewarding efforts) is a sure way to bruise employee morale.  Particularly when staff are taking on more than ever.  Make sure they feel your appreciation.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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