Fighting Employee Burnout During a Pandemic
Director of Compliance
As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, more workers are exhibiting and reporting signs of burnout such as fatigue, low motivation, and a general decline in mental health. The pandemic has muddied the boundary between home and “the job” as remote employees often feel pressure to work after hours and remain available to their employers. At the same time, “the great resignation”—where many workers have quit their jobs in dissatisfaction—has exacerbated the problem by expanding the job responsibilities of a waning workforce.
Employee burnout should greatly concern companies because it can adversely affect job performance, including legal compliance, productivity, and working relationships. So here are a few strategies employers should consider implementing to assist workers in avoiding and recovering from burnout:
Create an environment where employees can openly discuss burnout with their managers. Manager support will allow the employer and employee to find solutions together and help workers stay positive and productive.
Avoid rigid work schedules, which may complicate work/family balance. Allowing employees to complete their assignments around personal and family obligations will help curb and alleviate burnout.
Adequately Train Employees
Give your employees all the training they need to succeed in their positions. Remember, well-trained workers are less prone to burnout.
Encourage Time Off
Don’t disparage the taking of vacations or personal time off from work. Consider establishing company holidays. Strategic time off energizes employees and increases productivity.
Promote Boundaries and Clarify Expectations
Employees often look for clues from their employers for expectations surrounding work hours and productivity. Organizations can reduce burnout by not overburdening their workers with too many tasks and emphasizing proper work/life balance.
Provide Paid Volunteer Time
Volunteering to help others can significantly improve mental health. Consequently, by providing paid time off to employees to perform volunteer services, companies can boost their workers’ well-being and benefit those in our society who need help.
Acknowledging your appreciation for your staff and their hard work can make them feel valued. Of course, following up strong employee performance with pay raises (where feasible) will improve productivity and translate into higher-quality service from your workers.
Burnout has been especially harmful to employees during COVID-19. Personal financial strain, family health concerns, and additional job responsibilities are only a few of the stresses workers have faced during these volatile and uncertain times. Anything you can do to assist and guide your workers through the pandemic, including the strategies above, will ultimately pay off with improved compliance, performance, and employee engagement.
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