Ways to fight burnout

According to a study conducted by Gallup, 67% of full-time workers experience burnout.

Burnout takes a serious toll on employee’s mental health, productivity and performance in the workplace. Managers have the biggest opportunity to turn employee burnout around. Try these 4 techniques to fight employee burnout in your team.

Introduce a WFH day

WFH days allow employees to take a break from the often hectic office environment and work where they know they’ll be most productive and comfortable.

At SoapBox, every Wednesday is a dedicated work-from-home day. The entire company has a meeting-free, distraction-free day to power through the work that unintentionally and inevitably piles up throughout the week.

It also gives employees the freedom to tick off things on their personal to-do lists that might be causing undue stress that seeps in their work lives. Things like laundry, exercise, cleaning, grocery shopping and more parts of everyday existence that easily go unattended to during the work week.

Prioritize weekly workloads

If you’re hearing things like “I have so much to do” and, “there’s just too much going on” these can be early signs of burnout. In one-on-one meetings, managers can tackle this by proactively prioritizing workloads every week. Try using this simple 2-step method:

  1. Lay out all projects and tasks (in a project management tool or a shared document) so that you can visually see the work that needs to be done.
  2. Assign priority levels 1-3 based on impact to the business. P1 goes to the top of the list, P3 goes to the bottom. Refocus the workload based on time the project will take and the impact it will have on business goals.

One of the biggest responsibilities of manager is making sure their team is doing not only good work, but the right work. Every week in one-on-one meetings, have a recurring agenda item for prioritizing workload.

Create an open dialogue

Telling your manager, “I’m feeling burned out” can be stressful for an employee. Often times, your team doesn’t want to let you down (or you might even the cause of their stress and anxiety). As a manager, you can take charge of making sure burnout isn’t an ugly, secretive subject, but something you can openly discuss in your meetings. If you see signs of employee burnout emerging on your team, talk to employees individually about how they’re feeling about work. Ask what you can do to improve the quality of their work day and don’t take “nothing” as an answer. Probe until you have some feedback that you can put into action.

Add movement to your meetings

As a manager, the most impact you can make on your employees is in your meetings. Many studies have shown how exercise can help reduce stress, particularly in the often sedentary workplace. Try taking your next team meeting to the park, take the first 5 minutes of your meeting to journey to a cafe nearby, or have a walking one-on-one meeting. That small bit of movement and change of scenery can recharge and refocus your employees.