As we continue to deal with the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic and the more recent cost of living increases impacting wellbeing, workplace productivity and engagement, staff burnout which has been recognised by the World Health Organisation since 2019 should be a key focus for employers.
Symptoms of burnout include exhaustion, lack of engagement with a job or feeling less productive and can creep up on an individual over time. Not eating, sleeping or feeling that you are coping with the day ahead are all potential signs of burnout. Employers need to have effective policies/procedures in place to spot this early on, for staff whether working remotely, or back in the office.
Regular forums for staff to discuss
Whether group sessions, support groups or one on ones with access to trained professionals on coping techniques, a variety of channels may work best to include as many as possible to feel comfortable to openly talk about experiences, challenges and concerns in a secure way.
Regular individual catch-ups
Not everyone will be prepared to sign up to group discussions, so it typically falls on line managers to ensure they are regularly speaking with their team to see how they are coping. Showing interest in both individual’s workloads and personal commitments can help spot those who are becoming overwhelmed or whose stress levels are reaching an unmanageable stage.
Personal days and flexible working hours
Working from home, despite its numerous benefits has some downsides and isn’t for everyone. It has taken time for many to adjust and for some the commuting time saved has been put into their job, the ability to switch off and separate work and personal life being blurred. Encouraging staff to take several personal days or perhaps a regular Friday to focus on themselves across the year could reap huge benefits in their mental well-being and in turn productivity.
Encouraging positive, and regular communications at the end of the working week can be a great way to boost morale, whether a small or major piece of news.