Did you know stress can amount to an occupational hazard according to the World Health Organisation?
The WHO defines burnout as a “syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Given that staff turnover or sick days amount to a large expense for most business’, it’s important that there is a focus on a “psychologically safe” and well managed workplace.
While the WHO explains that the “workplace burnout” has always been prevalent in job roles within the emergency response industry, it is now becoming an issue across a range of industries. Constant change, poor management and increasing workloads are all said to be common factors amounting to mental stress amongst employees.
What are the occupational hazards to look out for within your business?
– Do your employees lack support they need to deliver on their workload?
– Do you employees lack recognition for their work?
– Is there a lack of clarity within an employee’s job role and responsibilities?
– Are there any current workplace processes that are unjust or poorly organised?
– Is there constant change within your business?
How can you as a business owner or manager help alleviate workplace stress for your employees?
“The organisation can establish its organisational performance expectations, then give this to employees, asking, ‘How do you think you can achieve this without burning out?’,” says Dr Sugumar, Author of Sustainable Human Resource Management: Strategies, Practices and Challenges.
“Employees then have the opportunity to identify changes to the system that would help them achieve a sustainable level of performance. This could relate to job design, performance appraisal or reward and recognition, for example.”
It’s also advised that your employee’s wellbeing becomes a KPI. This has been a fear of business owners in the past as most employees ask for further resources to help alleviate their workload. For many businesses this isn’t possible. If this is the case, it is still advised that it is important to have an open conversation with employees about their needs, so that they know they are being heard. This is to help avoid further workplace frustration and a potential decrease in employee productivity.
What are the signs of workplace burnout within an employee?
- Depletion or exhaustion
- A decrease in employee productivity and poor performance
- A cynical or negative attitude