6 Ways to Avoid Employee Burnout and Foster Innovation

According to a recent Gallup poll, around 31% of U.S. employees were engaged in 2014. Why are employees less engaged? Some of the blame is due to burnout at work. This burnout, characterized by severe mental and physical exhaustion, is leading to a lack of interest, reduced employee engagement and less work being accomplished. Most of the theories that have been devised in this regard suggest that the main cause is too much work and strain, but this might not be the case.

Below are six ways that managers and HR departments could adopt to control burnout issues before it impedes the organization’s road to success.

1. Think out of the box

Managers should specially pay attention to the personal issues of the employees. If the working environment is up to the mark and helping, then the issue might be associated with the personal life. A manager should encourage every employee to share personal thoughts and emotions so that the problem could be eradicated well in time. The performance standard will not only be raised but the employee will also feel himself as a part of a team as a result of sincere application of this process. Making an employee comfortable in a unique company culture can increase employee engagement.

2. Open communication is the key to success

For any project, the instructions and timeline should be there to guide the employees in the right direction. Open communication also refers to the fact that employees can reach the manager without any fear and panic. It is the art of communication that would make the most intimidating tasks easy and achievable. Every manager wants his employee to be honest and straightforward and to achieve desired results. It would also allow the managers to assess the factors that are bringing the employees to the verge of this dilemma.

3. Vigilant promotions and hiring

Burnout starts when a wrong person is hired or promoted. The managers and HR department should not only give priority to skills and expertise but the personality attributes should also be assessed in the best possible manner. An employee should only be promoted if all the personal habits are in line with the established company culture (this will help with lowering the number of employees that fall into the management death zone). This means increased productivity in new role and cautious performance which would ultimately benefit the company. All stakeholders should be thoroughly consulted to make sure that the best fit is chosen for the job so that the results are in line with the requirements.

4. Micromanagement slays the image

Engagement is inversely proportional to micromanagement. Micromanagement leads to trust and honesty to disappear instantly. To avoid burnout, the employee should be given complete freedom to exercise control over the work that is being done. The only way to manage people is to guide them whenever they require as most of the organization’s hire experienced employees. The outlandish technique of micromanagement is therefore never recommended as it will escalate the problem to the next level.

5. Be a role model

In the wake of advancement in science and technology, every business is now mechanized causing severe burnouts that cannot be avoided or prevented. The business policies in place should therefore encourage the employees to opt for a healthy professional lifestyle. It includes taking a meal in time and short coffee or tea breaks. To implement these in most effective ways, the managers should be the first one to practice them so that a trend is set among the employees. It not only promotes a healthy environment within the company but also allows the employees to work more diligently.

6. Change management is very important

This change could refer to management style, departmental policies, general norms and change in work style. Laws and policies are made by people so if they are on the edge of burnout due to wrong implementation, then effective changes could be made to make sure that the best possible results are obtained. It will make the employees feel that management cares about then and also want to work at issues that are being faced. A change in management is the most effective tool in these modern times to overcome burnout in most resilient manner.

All and all, talk with your employees and accommodate them in ways that will not only increase engagement, but help accomplish great work.

By JP George

About the author


JP George grew up in a small town in Washington. After receiving a Master’s degree in Public Relations, JP has worked in a variety of positions, from agencies to corporations all across the globe. Experience has made JP an expert in topics relating to leadership, talent management, and organizational business.

Photo: Burnout Matches by Shutterstock.com

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