We know you’ve been hearing the term ‘burnout’ A LOT in the past few years and while it’s no stranger to the business world, unfortunately the pandemic made it a commonplace state of being. Suddenly employees (even in relatively low-stress fields) were feeling the overwhelm of survival mode, and they were none too happy about it (cue the Great Resignation).
Most information you will find about burnout offers advice to employees on how to manage their stress levels, which is necessary and helpful, yes. But it ignores a very important component to the cause of the tension: their workplace.
This means that managing employee stress is in part the responsibility of the employer. Employers need to be considerate when establishing roles and expectations, they need to know how to identity stress amongst their staff, and how to address it. Doing so will strengthen company culture, improve productivity and most importantly, avoid burnout in employees.
This week we’re sharing the most common causes of employee stress, along with quick tips on how to avoid them from occurring.
Common causes of employee stress
- Long hours. Be realistic when establishing work hours, eg: do not send emails after hours or on weekends, don’t praise employees for sacrificing personal time in order to work, and make sure you yourself set an example by valuing your own personal time.
- Inflexible schedule. If the last few years taught us anything, it’s that flexible schedules are both necessary and just as productive (if not more so) as the traditional 9 to 5. Allow for hybrid work and flexible work hours to keep employees engaged in their work and able to stay on top of personal obligations.
- Too much work. Overloading employees leads to poor work, lack of engagement, and higher resignation rates. Provide both realistic expectations and the proper support (eg resources) for employees to complete their work.
- Unstable environment. A workplace that is chaotic or stuck in a constant mode of change feels unpredictable to employees and does not foster a positive environment. It does the opposite. So spend the time and resources necessary to establish good communication and mentorship amongst your team.
- Micromanaging. An overbearing management team is taxing on employees while allowing for autonomy builds trust and higher productivity. And just think, it also means you’ll have more time to grow your business!
It can be hard to relinquish control of managing tasks and to adopt new schedules or policies that differ from what has traditionally been done, but how we work has changed and it’s up to employers to ensure that their businesses can adapt to this new way of doing business. And that includes taking care of the employee’s best interests. A strong team and successful brand relies on the ability of employers to address problems within the company’s structure.
Want to make sure your daily practices support a thriving workplace? Eos HR can help. We offer tailored plans that ensure small business owners have the resources they need to lead a productive and happy team. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.