Employee burnout can be a genuine problem in progress and profit-driven businesses. As managers chase esteemed customers and demand more of their workers’ time and energy, many of those workers start to feel the effects of being pushed to their professional limits. 

It’s easy to assume that long working hours and high-pressure environments can equate to high productivity levels, but there are easier ways to achieve the same goals. Take note of these tips below, and your business might enjoy increased productivity without a team teetering on the brink of exhaustion. 

signs of burnout

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Outsource Time-Intensive Tasks

While all tasks your employees perform can be necessary for business success, some are more time-intensive than others. The more time your team spends on one job, the less time they have for another, and the more burnout they might experience. 

Look at the demands you place on each department and identify tasks that could be outsourced to free up your workers’ time. For example, a remote sales company could take care of lead generation if you’re a fast-growing B2B company. 

Such a company can handle cold calling, email marketing, direct mail, and other essential but time-intensive tasks. You might also decide to outsource data entry, accounting, and even marketing if you can identify local companies to take the lead. 

There can be multiple benefits associated with outsourcing, such as allowing your employees to enjoy more work-life balance, lower costs or labor rates due to economies of scale, and broader access to skills and resources that might not be available in your current workforce. 

Outline Performance Expectations

Having your HR department adopt an inclusive leadership style and outline clear expectations in the very beginning can be crucial for both productivity and worker satisfaction. The more information you can provide prospective employees about a job before they’re hired, the easier it might be to find someone who’s adequately experienced and qualified for the role. If someone is hired without the skills or experience you require, there’s always a risk that they cannot produce the desired results and are ultimately unhappy – and burnt out – in their role. 

Offer Remote Working Opportunities

Business owners and managers can be put in a tough situation regarding productivity. You might want to ensure you’re doing right by your employers, but you don’t want to reduce your productivity levels by giving your team less work to achieve. 

Sometimes, you don’t have to ease your employees’ load; you simply have to create a better working environment for them to manage it. That’s why many business owners have adopted remote working policies, and the results have been astounding. 

According to a Bloomberg article, there have been productivity boosts in many workplaces offering remote working as an option, with promising results as far back as 2015. For many people, being able to work the hours that suit their productivity the most has enabled them to provide their employers with their best efforts. 

There are also many other benefits associated with remote working, such as lower overheads for employers and more work-life balance for employees who now have the flexibility to run errands and attend their children’s school events. 

Learn the Signs of Burnout

It might not seem possible to achieve higher productivity levels by learning the signs of burnout, but it might have more of an impact than you think. If you can identify the signs, you can put steps in place to help those employees, suggest appropriate changes that reduce their stress levels, and make them feel like valued members of your team. You might then benefit from high retention rates combined with stable productivity levels. 

Fortunately, identifying the signs of burnout is relatively easy, especially when you work with your team daily. Among the most common are depression, exhaustion, increased sick leave usage, and mistakes leading to poor customer reviews. If you notice any of these signs above, take action as soon as possible. Otherwise, not only may your business experience reduced productivity, but you might also lose highly valuable employees. 

Use Productivity-Monitoring Tools

Monitoring productivity levels can be crucial for ensuring your business makes a profit against your worker expenses. The higher your productivity level, the lower your costs tend to be, and the larger your profit margin. Use your productivity monitoring tools to gauge just how much work each employee is achieving each day. Pay particular attention to those who are performing far above or below the average, and check in on them to see how you could be of assistance. 

Those achieving far less than expected might be dealing with a personal or professional issue, while those performing far beyond your expectations might simply excel in their field or are on the brink of burnout. In both situations, you can take action to take care of these employees and ensure all their needs are being met. 

Offer Incentives

Offering incentives doesn’t take away the long list of jobs your employees might have to do, but it might make them feel appreciated and valued while they do them. For example, if you need an employee to stay an extra two hours to complete a project, you might offer them a long weekend to thank them for their help. For every extra demand you place on employees, compensate it with an additional benefit. Otherwise, your team might burn out, become resentful of your business, and seek employment elsewhere. 

If you’re unsure of the benefits and perks your team values the most, there’s no harm in asking them so that you can keep that in the back of your mind. Health insurance, life insurance, mental health counseling services, and subsidized or free meals are just a few of the many options you might like to consider. 

Our fast-paced lives can mean we often push ourselves far harder than we should. If you want to ensure your team can produce the results you require and still be happy and satisfied in their work and home life, you might like to take some of these approaches above. Sometimes, being more mindful of burnout and aware of its causes and consequences can be what it takes to limit its impact on employees and businesses overall.