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Employee burnout is a common problem, especially in these trying times. Emotional and physical exhaustion, less recognition from managers, lower productivity, and a decline in health are some of the most common signs of workplace burnout. And now more than ever, employees are at risk of getting burned out at work, with 40% of employees saying that this is the main reason for leaving their job. 

Reducing burnout in the workplace and knowing how to prevent it is crucial for retention and the overall well-being of employees. Here’s how companies can stop celebrating burnout.

  1. Change Company Values to Value Work Life Balance 

Managing work and home has become much more difficult due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There’s that pressure to meet the rising expectations for many employees both at home and work. On the other hand, there’s also the pressure to do more work, carry out extra tasks, and even take up unfamiliar roles to support company cutbacks. There’s also the increased expectation of juggling complicated family life, especially involving school-age kids. All these are some of the reasons why employees are getting burned out. 

Prioritising mental health and wellness in the workplace is now more important than ever, with several lifestyle jobs experts giving weight to the argument. An essential part of work-life balance is in giving importance to health and wellness. Setting boundaries between home and work hours so that employees will not feel that they must always be available is important. Encouraging employees to go on frequent breaks and making health and fitness a priority can significantly improve energy and concentration, which essentially improves workplace productivity.

It’s about time that companies should stop celebrating burnout and start recognising that having a healthy work-life balance is an important aspect of a successful work environment. Chronic stress is one of the most common health issues that many workers are faced with. It could lead to physical consequences, such as digestive troubles, hypertension, chronic disease, and heart-related issues. Chronic stress will also negatively affect an employee’s mental health since it’s linked to a higher risk of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

  1. Paid Mental Health Days 

Every employee is important, and paid mental health days are becoming increasingly common nowadays as companies recognise the importance of mental health. Paid mental health days give employees a chance to go on paid leave to focus on their mental health and wellbeing. Although employees can use it for various reasons, the main purpose is to improve employee retention and productivity by encouraging them to take care of themselves. 

One of the biggest benefits of offering paid mental health days is to improve overall health. If someone in the organisation feels stressed and suffers from depression, they are most likely to be at high risk for health conditions like cancer or heart disease. It can affect the company negatively since it could mean paying more for healthcare premiums. Mental health days help employees heal and rejuvenate, so they can bring out their best selves when they are back to work. 

Paid mental health days are the best way to prevent workplace burnout. As mentioned, burnout is usually the main reason behind absenteeism at work and the high employee turnover rate. By allowing employees to go on paid mental health days, you would be able to retain your workforce since you are sending a clear message that you value their worth to the company. Another great benefit of offering paid mental health days is increased productivity. Supporting your employee’s mental health with paid time off can help them to better cope with stress, allowing them to focus more on their responsibilities.

  1. Unfair Treatment at Work 

Many employers think that workplace burnout is an individual problem that can only be solved by saying do, doing more yoga and practising resilience. But these are only band-aid solutions. Employers should have a permanent solution to this problem by developing an effective burnout strategy. 

Even though the World Health Organisation is now establishing guidelines to help organisations come up with effective strategies to prevent workplace burnout, many companies still don’t have any idea how they can address burnout at work. According to some experts, burnout is not a problem that the employee should address. It is an issue that the employer should be responsible for.

The first step to addressing this issue is to ask yourself as a leader why your staff is unhealthy. Employers should offer equal pay to employees, handle the unmanageable workload, and remove excessive time pressures.  Moreover, employers should acknowledge the struggles that every employee deals with and show compassion and understanding of their needs. One way to do this is through communication efforts. Reach out to your employees and send positive notes of encouragement and recognition. Employees will be willing to seek help if they feel that their managers acknowledge their hard work and value their presence at work.

  1. Allow Employees to Be Authentic at Work 

Authenticity is an important asset to achieving success at work and in life in general. Research shows that authenticity at work comes with many benefits, including achieving a higher level of well-being and satisfaction. For this reason, many organisations encourage their staff to bring out their true selves at work, which could spark creativity, proactivity, and effectiveness. 

If an employee is allowed to share their values, priorities, and beliefs about the organisation, their true self will come out. On the other hand, if an employee will not identify with what the organisations and their co-workers stand for, authentic behaviour could lead to workplace conflict. 

Being authentic allows other work members to understand the employee’s attitudes, values, and goals. Consequently, authenticity at work can reveal if the employee is fit or misfit with the organisational context. The authenticity of individuals who don’t fit in can reveal dissimilarity with others in the organisation, fostering poor interpersonal relationships and leading to conflicts.

Developing employees’ emotional and social skills can be crucial in appreciating those who are different and avoiding conflicts at work. Organisations can create more emotionally intelligent employees through coaching or training initiatives. 

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