The True Cost of Employee Burnout- Do You Have a Culture of Self-Care?
Symptoms of employee burnout costs over 300 Billion dollars per year in health care related expenses. Companies lose 15.4 Million working days a year to employees calling out “sick”. Often employees are silent and don’t discuss openly their feelings of burnout because they don’t want their supervisor to interpret their fatigue as a lack of willingness or interest in their job. They fear being seen as weak and they worry how this perception might impact future opportunities for promotion and become a permanent part of their HR record. As a company leader you have the power to create a culture of self-care and bring awareness to your employees on the importance of proactive stress reduction techniques to avoid burnout.
Stress Management Examples:
- Chair massage day
- Guest speakers on wellness topics
- Celebration days
- Ergonomic awareness
- Raffle a free “Day Off” an employee can take
- Encourage employees to use their vacation time
- Set cultural boundaries and healthy expectations around not working nights and weekends unless critical
- Evaluate your unspoken expectations for “productivity”
- Encourage employees to create a “wellness” committee, etc.
Train your leaders to look for common symptoms of employee burnout:
- Chronic fatigue (sick days used)
- Anger at supervisors who give them work assignments
- A pattern of self-critical comments
- Cynicism, negativity, and irritability
- A sense of being besieged or overwhelmed with work
- Hair-trigger displays of emotions (anger, frustration, crying, etc.)
An effective way to prevent employee burnout is to learn about your staff’s behavioral profile. When you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of an employee and how they behave in their natural and adaptive pattern, you can have coaching conversations from a place of greater insight and individual support. Start with knowing yourself and your own stress triggers.