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Overworked Employees: How Can HR Managers Avoid Employee Burnout?Employee Relations GENERAL Leadership Management People Development Productivity RETAIN September 6, 2016
Increasing workplace stress stands testimony to the fact that most employees today are overworked in their job roles. In a constant struggle to meet deadlines and clocking in 50-hour weeks seem to be not enough and sometimes work gets extended over the weekends.
Regular tasks, projects, deadline and myriads of issues that need immediate attention require employees to work for longer hours in the office. This kind of work culture, while contributing to stress is one of the major cause for depression among employees.
The outlet for the stress and burnout experienced is quite evident when a hard working employee reports frequent absenteeism, decrease in quality of work delivered and increased turnover rate.
Those responsible in an organisation towards employee welfare, wellbeing and engagement should be wary of the harmful effects of overworking on the talented workforce.
See also: 6 Clear Indicative Signs Your Employees’ are Worth a Promotion
While deadlines and immediacy of project requirements are valid reasons for employees to be racing against time, but it is important for employers to understand and treat employees as humans. They do need to strike effective work-life balance to be healthy and fit to work productively every single day.
If an employee is overburdened with responsibilities and made to work over weekends, during the long haul they tend to break down, impacting quality of work delivered and productivity. Here are some ways by which HR managers can avoid employee burnout:
- Ask employees to have a clear schedule
When employees are required to clock in longer hours at work, HR managers can help them lighten their moods and reduce stress levels in the workplace by asking employees to set a clear schedule.
Perhaps, intervention by a supervisor or manager can help the overworked taskforce to manage time effectively, maintain speed and deliver productive outcomes without compromising on quality.
A clear schedule would help employees allocate certain time periods of the day for certain routine activities, and this will help retain focus and accomplish tasks on time.
- Encourage a healthy life
To stay fit and healthy, employees need adequate supply of nutrition, sports and workouts, and brief break time between work. When employees are overworked, HR managers could help employees focus on their overall health by offering them with healthy snacks during break periods, recreational and gymming session in the office, nutritionist advice and health check-ups to monitor employee fitness levels.
- Provide competitive personal leave policies and vacation benefits
HR managers and employers alike should provide personal leave and vacation benefits to the workforce who are overworked. Personal leaves and benefits are the two most valuable employee benefits that help them reenergise and return back to work with elevated spirits and positive energy.
Some time out from work, in the form of paid leaves and personal benefits could perk up their motivation levels, reduce burnout and refresh their minds to focus and perform better on job.
- Provide rewards and recognition
Hard working employees need to be rewarded and recognised. Rewards and recognition significantly boost employee morale and facilitates retention of the talented workforce within organisations.
The very act of taking up more responsibilities, despite being aware of the fact that they are overworked, showcases employees’ dedication and commitment towards the job role. It also exemplifies sense of ownership.
Hence, HR managers should recognise such self-initiated efforts of employees and reward them accordingly. Rewards most appreciated by hardworking employees could be in the form of increase in salary, promotion, better incentives and benefits, paid vacation policies etc.
- Offer adequate support and assistance
Employees who are willing to shoulder more responsibilities, work for extended hours to contribute more towards the company objectives, require support and assistance from the employer.
Managers and supervisors should authorise departments to be proactive in providing support and timely assistance to these dedicated workforce to tackle issues and challenges promptly without any waste of time.
Managers and supervisors should be willing to listen and understand the challenges faced by an employee towards project execution and appreciate feedback, suggestions for improvement and constructive criticism.
Fair treatment should be provided to the overworked employees, their efforts should be noticed, appreciated and recognised to maintain their motivation levels and consistent productivity.
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