Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heading Off Employee Burnout

In today's "do more with less" environment, employees are especially susceptible to burnout. So what for signs of excess stress in your staffers. Decreased enthusiasm, increased irritability, sudden changes in performance and high absenteeism all signal possible burnout.

If your employees are exhibiting these signs, use these stress-management options:
. . .Shift some of their work to others temporarily. Often all a good employee needs is a little break. Find someone who can assume some of his/her duties for a short time. After they've recharged their batteries, you'll find they are probably itching to resume former responsibilities.
. . .Encourage people to take breaks, shorter more frequent breaks that is. Several short walks around the block are more refreshing than a lengthy coffee break.
. . .Get rid of electronic leashes. Give them a break from "electronic leashes." Example: Declare a beeper-free, email-free and cellphone-free Friday morning.
. . .Look at the role you play. If you want them to balance their lives, you should be a model. Share your stress-reduction tips. And be careful not to reward stress-inducing behavior. Example: Stop complimenting employees for working long hours. Thank them for the quality of the work they complete.

Adapted from "Love 'Em or Lose 'Em"