Three Ways to Overcome Career Burnout and Manage Your Work Stress
1. They’re not engaged.
Work engagement can be due to different things, from the upcoming holidays to other life stressors. It can also mean that employees are suffering from work fatigue. What does this look like? Employees will seem checked out and be less productive than their usual selves.
2. You’re finding more mistakes in their work.
One of the most telling signs, mistakes or sloppy work can show that your employees aren’t focused at work.
3. They seem tired.
Know that this feeling can appear in different forms, including physical lethargy to emotional exhaustion. Maybe an employee hasn’t been sleeping well and becomes increasingly irritable at work, or perhaps another employee gets more sensitive to your reaction to his or her work.
4. Their personalities change.
Hopefully, you’ve got an eye out for how your employees act at work. Then, you’ll be better able to spot any changes in their personalities. Remember, though, that everyone has good and bad days, so look for prolonged periods of personality changes.
5. They’ve turned into cynics.
Have your employees turned sour on just about everything, saying a goal won’t be met or an initiative won’t come to fruition? It’s another sign that your employees may be a bit jaded.
1. Minimize Economic Stress
It may be hard to offer competitive salaries, but for those who can, do it! Reducing your employees’ financial worries can let them focus on work rather than unpaid bills. (If you aren’t sure whether your wages are competitive, check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics regional salary ranges.)
Don’t worry if your small business can’t. There are other ways to reduce employees’ economic stresses.
Cookerly offers a high-quality healthcare plan and pays 100 percent of the premiums, as an example. Similarly, Pepito Fierro — owner of Pepe’s Bistro and leader of a nonprofit bike shop, both in Lincoln, Neb. — will give his restaurant employees a bike to get around if they’ve worked 30 days straight during a busy period.
2. Stay Flexible
Life happens outside office walls, and as a small business owner, your ability to acknowledge and accommodate employees’ personal situations can pay off.
Take Andrew Borakove, owner of Gongs Unlimited in Lincoln, Neb. When one employee was battling an illness recently, Borakove agreed to let the employee work remotely. He also checks on his employees’ personal lives so he can help them avoid feeling overwhelmed.
The best way to find out if employees need more flexibility is to ask them, either individually or in a team meeting that is focused on building a better workplace.
3. Make Time for Fun
To keep spirits high among his nine-employee team, Borakove at times creates a fun atmosphere to the point when he will get on a countertop and dance to music blasting. If you’re not sure what types of team-building activities to have, put together a social committee to collaborate on ideas, such as an after-work happy hour or picnic. Chances are you won’t need to twist arms to get employees to plan fun activities and you’re likely to emerge with a team that has much stronger bonds.