How to promote positive employee well-being at work
Is your business proactive in preventing burnout in the workplace?
It’s not uncommon to feel stretched thin sometimes at work, but when that relentless pressure turns into a debilitating state referred to as burnout, you have larger issues at play.
Burnout affects not only the performance and well-being of the individual experiencing it, but also those around them. It can also have a significant impact on productivity and performance of the business.
For a happier workplace, employees need to trust that managers and businesses have systems in place to prevent burnout and act if symptoms arise. Keeping your staff feeling empowered and putting strategies in place to stop burnout before your staff’s well-being reaches crisis level is crucial.
We’ve worked with many business leaders and employees themselves to teach them how to recognise symptoms of burnout, examine the underlying causes, and put into place actions to reduce and stop those feelings as well as preventative measures to avoid the same situation occurring again.
Recognising the signs of burnout
Burnout is described as the feeling of being drained, physically and mentally, and having negativity towards an activity you are doing.
Although symptoms of burnout can present differently from person to person, it can typically present as:
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of motivation
- Negative feelings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling disconnected
- Poor concentration
- And much more.
According to BU Happiness College, approximately 62 per cent of Australians report experiencing the above symptoms, but what more can be done in preventing burnout in the workplace?
Strategies for preventing burnout in the workplace
We advocate for businesses putting into place preventative measures and strategies to help reduce risk of burnout in the first place. You want to avoid a crisis situation rather than simply reacting.
Part of this is helping to grow the resilience within your team. Building the mind is just as important as building the body when it comes to performance at work. We think of it in terms of if you were asked to move a very heavy box.
Instead of hurting yourself trying to carry something you know that is too heavy for you, you’d go to the gym, build up muscle, increase your weights and slowly build up strength to safely carry the box.
If you notice your employees are displaying symptoms of burnout, it is important to ask first and foremost if they are ok, before offering to provide support.
1. Nurture a positive work environment by creating space for employee feedback
Your employees want assurance that they are working in a safe and supportive environment. To facilitate this, encourage open and honest conversations around mental health, both through the wider team and in one-on-one manager meetings.
These conversations can often be difficult to navigate, which is why we offer workplace consultation services, that give your management team the skills to confidently have conversations around mental health and burnout with their teams.
2. Encourage a healthy work-life balance
Another effective way to support staff and reduce burnout is to reiterate to your employees the need to leave work at work and promote healthy work-life balance.
This can include encouraging staff to take time off when needed, have regular breaks throughout the day, and encourage manageable workloads.
3. Create achievable workloads and role expectations
Much of the reasons behind burnout comes down to pressure and stress related to an individual’s workload. If they feel as though they are constantly playing catch-up or are just staying afloat, symptoms of burnout can arise.
To avoid this, set your employees up for success by creating reasonable workloads for staff and having an open-door policy should your team members feel like they need to speak to somebody about their work schedule.
Creating a culture of care in your workplace which includes reducing stressors that lead to burnout is a critical investment. It won’t only benefit the individual but will also have countless benefits to your broader team and the business as a whole.