4 Tips to Prevent Burned-Out Workers

Technology is supposed to make us more productive and efficient but people are working harder and for longer hours than ever before. Some employees don't even take a vacation. Everyone can work longer and harder for a duration of time but when there is no end in sight, it leads to burnout.

"As our workplaces evolve, as leaders, our primary focus needs to be on creating a work environment that engages employees and creates passion for them to do extraordinary work," said Peter B. Stark, president of Peter Barron Stark Companies based in San Diego. "I don't know what the opposite of an engaged, passionate employee is but burned out, disconnected and disengaged has to be close."

A Workforce Trends study completed by Kronos Inc. and Future Workplace, found that burnout plays a key role in 20 to 50 percent of their annual workforce turnover.

Here are 4 tips to create an environment where employees love coming to work so that customers love doing business with you.

  1. Meaningful work. Employees want more than a job. They want to work on something that has a purpose, is meaningful and makes a difference. The work you do is the biggest driver on whether you are engaged or disengaged.
  2. Continuous learning. "Recently, my twenty-two year old daughter Brooke, a Registered Nurse, told me she was thinking about changing jobs after only six months of employment because working on the night shift, she was not learning much from sleeping patients. I talked to Brooke about the importance of paying her dues but the feedback was not highly valued or accepted," he said. It is estimated that by 2020, millennials will comprise 50 percent of the workplace and by 2025, they will make up 75 percent of the workforce. Learning and development consistently rates as one of the most important drivers of engagement. Millennials and other highly engaged employees do not do well with busy work. On every assignment or project, set goals with your team members on what they will learn and how it will benefit both customers and your company.
  3. Stay connected. In today's workplace, it is incredibly easy to get disconnected and disengaged. As organizations continue to grow their workforces and change how people do their work, it will be critical to create smaller networks who frequently connect, communicate, collaborate, and even have fun working together as a team.
  4. Provide feedback. While some managers hate the annual review process, continuous feedback is important in helping team members know what they are doing well, as well as providing them with opportunities for improvement. "It has been our experience that the managers who hate the performance review process are the same people who are not good at giving ongoing feedback," he said. "Great feedback helps people stay connected and builds trust."

An excellent way to stay connected is through an employee opinion survey or engagement survey. Conducting a survey will help you ensure the culture is not only intact, but striving and strong. A survey will also allow you to take a read on employee burnout level, gage the level of feedback employees receive, and determine employees' satisfaction with their opportunity to learn, develop as well as participate in meaningful work.

For ideas on how your organization can achieve results through Workplace Excellence, download the free White Paper called "Beyond Engagement:  8 Proven Strategies to Workplace Excellence."

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