How Leaders Prevent Employee Burnout

employee burnoutIs employee burnout disrupting the morale and productivity of your business? As a business owner or executive, helping employees cope with career stress is crucial. According to the 2016 Workplace Index from Staples Business Advantage, 50 percent of millennials, 40 percent of Gen X and 35 percent of Baby Boomers say employee burnout motivates them to change jobs. What’s more, workplace stress costs more than $300 billion every year for incidentals like health care and missed work days.

To retain your top talent and avoid high turnover rates, take these three steps to prevent employee burnout:

Show Gratitude

Qualified employees aren’t obligated to stay at your company, especially if they don’t feel their hard work is consistently valued and respected. At a minimum, management should recognize top-performing individuals with verbal (and shared) recognition. Establishing a rewards system for employees with measurable goals is another way to support tenacity, even in commission-based positions. For example, offer $100 gift cards for every sales employee who surpasses their monthly target. Throw in something extra special, like a prepaid dinner, to whoever hits the highest sales numbers in any given month. Incentivize employees outside of the sales department by rewarding innovative proposals and ideas. Or, honor workers who make a habit out of assisting other team members.

Implement Wellness Initiatives

According to a Workplace Wellness Report from the U.S. Department of Labor, chronic “lifestyle diseases” like physical inactivity, bad nutrition, tobacco use and alcohol abuse are a major burden on businesses big and small. Not only do health care costs surge, but lack of wellbeing in the workforce increases absenteeism and poor performance. Workplace wellness programs build camaraderie, lift engagement and moderate insurance costs. Many large businesses offer weight loss programs, health screenings, exercise classes and smoking cessation courses – whether at the office or through a third party. But, you don’t have to roll out a costly platform immediately, especially when funds are tight. Start small with stair step challenges, healthier catering, standing desks and anti-fatigue mats.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

No matter how many conveniences and comforts you install in your commercial space, your employees have lives and responsibilities outside of work. Humans need to decompress, socialize and spend quality time with loved ones. In a recent Gallup poll, 60 percent of women and nearly half of men graded better work-life balance and personal well-being as very important features of a new job. Paid time off (PTO), reasonable work hours and flexible work-from-home policies are obligatory mental breaks. Offering time to unwind keeps employees more engaged when it matters most.

You don’t have to roll out an array of employee burnout prevention strategies at once. Even minor changes in the workplace have a dramatic and positive influence on your company’s internal culture. Once the initial effort is made, your organization can begin to feel upbeat, engrossed and indispensable for the long run.