After the Covid 19 Pandemic, a curious trend has appeared in the job market: an increasing number of people are leaving their jobs. Not sure why? The answer is pretty simple. Many people are exhausted after two years of constant adaption and change – and it’s causing a lot of us to burn out. But what does that mean, and how can you prevent that from affecting you or your company?
1. How to know if your employees are burning out
Burn out can make employees lose interest in a job they once loved. It can make our most-valued employees stop working to their potential and it can happen right under your nose. Just like with anything else, there are signs and symptoms of “burn out” that you can look out for. For example:
- They call in sick regularly
- They look tired or complain of being tired
- They stop socialising with other employees
- They take a lot longer to complete tasks than they used to
- They might complain about being stressed, feeling hopeless or trapped
2. How to make burn out work for you: Slowing down is the new speeding up
Burn out might sound scary and difficult to manage but the best way to combat it is with communication. Talk to your team about what needs to change, and how to slow-down their day-to-day work life. One of the main reasons people get burnt out is because they’re overwhelmed with their workload or not sure what they’re meant to be doing. A conversation can bring clarity, reassurance, and a renewed understanding of what’s needed. Slowing down and reducing some of the pressure can improve productivity, too.
3. A fresh start: re-setting the brain
Sometimes a new start is the best option to avoid burn out or recover from feelings of being burn out. Lay out some options for your team which addresses their needs. Consider additional leave as an investment – a worker will be more productive after time off if they’re in a better head-space than if they continued working in a bad head-space. Offering other changes such as flexi-time, the option to work from home and bringing in additional resources such as coaches and therapists can also be beneficial. Some employers go further, with dedicated wellness programs, retreats, massages and even free gym passes.
One of the things we might overlook as employees, and as individuals, is that burn out can spread in a company. Once an employee starts to burn out, their workload may slip and be pushed onto other members of the team to complete, creating a domino effect. The best thing you can do to stop this is to notice those key symptoms of burn out and take measures to combat it sooner rather than later.