It's no secret that the pandemic has affected your company's greatest asset: your employees. In fact, the 2021 Employee Burnout Report by Indeed showed that over half (52%) of employees are experiencing job burnout (as opposed to 43% at pre-COVID levels).
With declining job satisfaction and rising mental health conditions, it's no surprise that 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of employee turnover.
What is Employee Burnout?
According to Forbes, employee burnout is defined as extreme physical and emotional exhaustion. Some symptoms of burnout include lack of engagement and motivation, decreased productivity, increased cynicism, irritability, poor memory, and increased mistakes. Just like any mental health concern, burnout presents serious consequences if left unchecked. According to Gallup, employees who are burnout are:
- 2.6 times more likely to leave their employer
- Half as likely to discuss performance goals with their manager
- 63% more likely to take a sick day
- 23% more likely to visit the emergency room
Though these numbers may seem jarring, there are a number of solutions to prevent burnout. Read on for 6 tips on how to simultaneously reduce burnout and turnover.
1. Implement Employee Mental Health Days
Are your employees having a challenging time disconnecting from work? If so, they're not alone. According to Indeed, 27% of workers are unable to unplug from work, and 53% report working longer hours. With many employees feeling "zoomed out", mental health days are a critical part of your employee wellness strategy. Alternatively, you can offer "no meeting days" once a week to reduce Zoom fatigue.
Make sure your employees use mental health days to rejuvenate and that they use all of their paid vacation days, even if it's just a staycation. With Cooleaf, you can have your staff upload photos of their fun day or have them participate in one of our many wellness challenges! Not only will this enhance team bonding, but your employees will return back to work feeling more motivated.
2. Offer Flexible Work Schedules
Though employees report working longer hours during the pandemic, many remote workers actually feel more engaged than on-site workers. According to Business Insider, nearly 40% of workers would consider quitting if forced to return to the office full-time.
Rather than mandating in-office work, ask your employees what their preference is. Flexible schedules allow employees to have greater control over when and where they work best, boosting mental health and employee engagement.
3. Create Employee Mental Health Resource Groups
With many employees feeling isolated, it's important to cultivate a work community that fosters trust, authenticity, and belonging. One way to do this is to create an employee resource group (ERG) for mental health. If your organization already has an ERG infrastructure, start the group by having employee advocates partner with HR and Executive sponsors.
If ERGs are new for your company, start small with informal group discussions, educational sessions, or mental health MS teams or Slack chats. As your ERG infrastructure matures, gather feedback from the group about policies and practices that can prevent burnout.
To reduce mental health stigma, have sponsors and company leaders discuss their own mental health struggles. Encouraging transparency from the top empowers your employees to bring their whole selves to work and demonstrates to them that the company cares about their employees' wellbeing, not just their productivity.
4. Encourage Fitness & Mindfulness Activities
With many of us working from home, it can be challenging to stay active. Combined with elevated stress levels and increases in chronic pain and illnesses, taking care of your employees' physical health is non-negotiable.
Rather than simply encouraging employees to adopt healthy habits, take your wellbeing program a step further by providing wellness incentives or reimbursement for meditation apps, fitness tracking apps, or online wellness classes.
Top companies use Cooleaf to promote employee wellness, encouraging employees to participate in fitness challenges and promoting daily meditation through an app like Peloton or Headspace. As an added perk, employees can earn daily reward points for completing activities that can be redeemed for a gift card of their choice!
5. Create Realistic Performance Expectations
Have you ever had a star employee quickly shift from high-performing to unproductive? One reason many employees become burnt out is that they take on too much work too quickly.
Have your managers conduct regular one-on-ones and performance reviews so employees feel comfortable communicating with them if their workload feels unmanageable. Having an open-door policy helps managers ensure deadlines are realistic and that roles and expectations are clear and fair. It also helps employees feel supported if a personal crisis comes up and needs to rearrange their workload.
6. Conduct Employee Pulse Surveys
You can't manage what you can't measure. Whether you're spearheading a brand-new wellness program or you're a wellness veteran, conducting pulse surveys is an effective way to pinpoint the root cause of your employees' burnout. Surveys ensure you're focusing your energy on the right solutions at the right time.
In fact, not conducting pulse surveys could be one reason why your employee wellbeing program isn't working! At Cooleaf, we offer up-to-the-minute data, expert-designed survey templates and data-driven recommendations, so you can focus more of your energy on what you do best: supporting your people.