How To Prevent Burnout

How To Prevent Burnout

Unmanaged stress is costing business and industry millions of dollars in days missed and diminished productivity. Morale in workplaces all over North America is low and on the job stress high. When people feel overworked and under-appreciated they run the risk of burning out. Stress workshops are the most frequently requested type of in-service in today’s workplace but still the problem grows. As one worker said to me recently after one of my seminars, ” We can have all the stress workshops they can throw at us but nothing will change until management addresses their role in stress and burnout.” I think he has a point.
While we will never be able to alter the fact that working in today’s global economy is stressful, we can begin to lessen the negative impact of stress if we tackle the problem on two fronts. First; we as individual workers have to involve ourselves in a program of personal stress reduction and control. Second; managers and supervisors must do everything possible to make the workplace as stress free as possible. I’m not talking about removing deadlines and competition from the workplace. Market demands and competition within the marketplace make stress inevitable. I am talking about encouraging employees to express openly those things in the workplace that increase their anxiety and stress and really listening and responding to them when they do. When management is committed to eliminating those sources of stress which are within their control, great improvement in the health, well being and productivity of their employees can be observed.
SOURCES OF STRESS WHICH CAN BE CONTROLLED
* lack of appreciation and praise * lack of employee recognition * being expected to take work home in the evening * working late too often * lack of caring leadership * managers who have poor people skills * autocratic leadership styles * favouritism
It is in the best interest of every business to care about the health and well-being of its employees.
Basic Equation: HIGH STRESS + LACK OF CARING = LOW MORALE = BURNOUT
PERSONAL STRESS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
* Get more exercise * Eat a more nutritious health promoting diet. * Learn how to relax, and relax daily. * Learn how to say “No” to unreasonable demands. * Learn the art of assertiveness. * Involve yourself in fun activities or sports. * Laugh more. * Learn to negotiate with those with whom you work. * Develop a positive attitude. * Lighten up.
COMPANY STRESS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
* Promote and support a recognition program within the workplace. Be present at the program sessions. Don’t welcome everyone, tell them how important the program is and leave because you have a pressing schedule. ( This was done at one of my seminars on recognition and it turned everyone there off.)
* Encourage humour in the workplace. Humour has so many social and health benefits.
* Ask your employees for solutions to existing problems. Listen attentively and apply suggested solutions. If the problem is solved by an employee PRAISE and APPRECIATE.
* Don’t ask employees to take the job home with them. Insist that when they are at home they are to relax and enjoy their families.
* Don’t expect people to work late every night. We all know that there are times when working late is a must, but not every night. When the day ends they should go home. WORK IS NOT THEIR WHOLE LIFE.
* If you have a cafeteria, provide nutritional choices for your employees. Fruit, fruit juices, salads, herbal teas, muffins etc.
* Explore the idea of creating an exercise room.
* Promote a program on caring leadership.
* Promote on the basis of people skills and not just years with the company.
Your employees are your most valuable inventory. MM

How To Prevent Burnout