There’s no real consensus, medically speaking, on what burnout is exactly, but Psychology Today describes it as: “a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and mental exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment”.
So what steps can employers put in place to prevent burnout, and consequential ill-health?
Here are five (relatively painless!) actions to help you on your way:
Ensure all employees have regular one-to-ones with their managers. It helps to address anxieties around work performance before they turn into broader issues.
It's management's responsibility to open a regular dialogue with the employee - and discuss any arising issues or concerns. Managers should be fully briefed on recognising the symptoms of stress, and ill-mental health, so they can offer support and address issues before they become a problem.
Offer a service to tackle emotional and mental wellbeing, that works in a way that fits around your employees and their needs. Ensure that your staff have access to a 24/7 helpline to discuss both personal and professional problems.
Give employees access to freebies such as fresh fruit and salary sacrifice schemes for anything from childcare to gym membership. You’re improving their health and addressing financial stress all in one. It’s win-win!
It’s a great way to counteract long hours and to help your people balance work and home responsibilities.
Burnout is often a symptom that plagues high performers in particular. Don't let your team down by letting their hard work go unnoticed. Reward and recognition, exemplified by Perkbox Recognition, or something as small as a hand written "Thank You" card can have a huge impact on your organisational culture.