Employee burnout is becoming more prevalent within organisations and is reported to be at an all-time high.

A survey run by Micro Biz Mag found that, of 1,000 employees in the UK, 22% of them had experienced some form of job-related burnout. 

There are several factors that could be resulting in the high percentage of us experiencing burnout but it’s believed that the pandemic and increased remote working have accelerated and exacerbated long-standing challenges within the workplace. 

But there are steps you can take to intervene and improve employee wellbeing and mental health to help decrease the risk of burnout within your team.

How do we define employee burnout?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” 

What are the signs to look out for?

Each experience of burnout can differ – it’s very individualised. But common symptoms to look out for are: 

  • Increased frustration
  • Withdrawn
  • Tearful
  • Exhaustion
  • Reduced effectiveness in their role
  • A reduction in an employee’s desire to learn and grow
  • Lacking concentration
  • Increased sickness 

It’s extremely important to be mindful of employee wellbeing and put measures in place to support your team. Low morale and lack of motivation can quickly spread amongst your team resulting in low productivity and extended sick leave.

A study run by the Health and Safety Executive of the UK government found that approximately 17.9 million working days had been lost as a byproduct of workplace stress, depression, or anxiety in 2019/2020 alone.

Steps you can take to help employees:

Make time for conversation. Regular, transparent conversations have the potential to make a huge difference to the wellbeing of your team. Discussing mental health can be a tricky topic so it is important that we make an effort to remove the stigma surrounding it. 

Wellbeing perks. As part of your mission to improve employee wellbeing, providing access to counselling for your team can be life-changing. There are charities and organisations that work with businesses to provide coaching and counselling.

Promote useful resources. There are plenty of free resources that exist to aid people struggling. Mind, the mental health charity, has a wealth of free resources which can be shared with managers and employees. This includes guidance for managers on how to support staff. 

Encourage a healthy work-life balance. Remote working makes it very easy to blur the lines between work and life but there are things you can put in place to help such as a strict no-emailing outside-of-work-hours policy and self-care days to let people focus on just themselves.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on every team member – even those that seem the most motivated and upbeat because you can never fully know how each person might be coping. Open and honest conversations are a great place to start and can make a real impact on team morale and wellbeing.

We highly recommend taking part in strategic initiatives to not only decrease existing burnout but decrease the risk of burnout within your whole organisation. 

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