Managers often find themselves in a challenging position where they must meet the demands of other departments and higher-ups, while also ensuring that their teams don’t become overburdened. At Task Tracker, we prioritize promoting and integrating a healthy work-life balance within workplace cultures.
Employee burnout is a state of chronic workplace stress that hasn’t been managed well. It’s characterized by exhaustion, negativity towards work, and reduced effectiveness. Although not classified as a disease, it’s a significant issue that affects productivity. To combat this, businesses must prioritize their employees’ work-life balance.
5 steps to manage employee burnout Encourage flex time
- Consider offering flexible work arrangements such as work-from-home options, summer Fridays off, or a compressed workweek. Discuss these options with your team and choose the most suitable arrangement for them.
- Make time for flextime. Start with having a conversation with your team about when it’s appropriate to take advantage of flex time. A clear conversation about a hybrid work setup will go a long way to increase productivity.
- Lead by example and demonstrate the use of flex time to employees. Leaving early or taking time off can set a precedent and encourage others to do the same without feeling guilty.
- Incentivize productivity over attendance. Avoid rewarding employees for working long hours and instead focus on recognizing their performance. This promotes a culture of efficiency and results.
Help eliminate unknowns
Here are a few ways to eliminate unknowns.
- Maintain predictable routines to reduce chaos and provide stability for employees. If changes occur, communicate the reasons to avoid confusion.
- Enhance transparency by openly sharing progress reports and financial statements with employees. This fosters a sense of trust, value, and inclusiveness in the company’s objectives and vision.
- Manage internal conversations to prevent the spread of rumors and gossip that can harm employee morale and productivity. Control the narrative with accurate information to dispel misinformation and promote a positive work environment.
- Ensure fairness among all employees to create a positive team culture and foster goodwill. Avoid treating team members differently as it can lead to comparison and dissatisfaction among them.
Make workloads more manageable
- To avoid overloading your team, it’s important to track their workload since we often overestimate the time available in a week and underestimate how much time tasks will take. This allows you to ensure that you’re not assigning more work than your team can handle.
- Demonstrate that asking for extensions is acceptable by sharing examples of other employees who have needed more time or by personally requesting extensions and informing your team. This will encourage your team to come to you when they are overwhelmed and require additional time.
- When assigning projects, make it clear whether a deadline is flexible or not. Although some deadlines may be firm, it is important to communicate this to ensure that there is no confusion.
- To effectively manage your team’s projects and tasks, establish priorities, deadlines, and task dependencies. When multiple employees work together on a project that requires a clear step-by-step process, these dependencies can help you manage workloads more efficiently.
Minimize the effect of toxic employees
- Find and resolve the issue. If it’s evident that a single person is causing the problem, it’s important to take appropriate actions to resolve it rather than allowing it to persist.
- Provide a safe and supportive environment for the toxic handler to express their concerns. Even if you cannot solve the problem, it is important to acknowledge their role, show empathy, and offer help. Ensure they feel heard and understood, and let them know they are not obligated to handle the situation alone.
- To help your employees avoid burnout, consider placing them in a situation where they can succeed. This may require finding them a new area to work in, providing them with space to regroup and refocus, such as offering work-from-home days, or as a last resort, transferring them to a different department.
Encourage time off
- Introduce mandatory vacations. Implement a policy that requires all employees to take a certain amount of vacation time, such as at least two weeks of paid vacation annually, in addition to offering unlimited paid time off. Consider setting a minimum duration of one week for at least one of the mandatory vacations each year.
- Make arrangements for their time off. Use shared calendars and notifications to ensure that you and your team are ready for scheduled absences. Some businesses have gone to the extent of stating that employees will not be compensated if they respond to work during their vacation. While this may seem extreme, it communicates a strong message.
- Encourage your employees to plan their vacations in advance. Studies suggest that vacations planned over a month ahead have a greater restorative effect, while last-minute vacations can add stress and undermine the positive benefits of time off. Additionally, it’s important to have policies in place that require employees to request time off with enough notice so that the team can prepare.
Eliminating workplace stress requires setting priorities, rewarding productivity, monitoring workloads, and increasing visibility, which can be implemented with the help of software. To learn more, schedule a demo with one of our team members and discover how Task Tracker helps busy teams do more.