We find many articles giving advice to employees about ways to avoid work depression, but what about the role of employers and leaders? There are certainly some actions workers can take for their mental health, however, a lot can be done from a management point of view. With 84% of the Millennials experiencing organizational depression and Zoomers (Gen Z) considered to be the fastest generation to struggle with burnout, this is a core topic to tackle for all businesses.
How can we prevent burnout in the workplace? What responsibilities are in your hands to build and maintain a positive and healthy work environment? The word flexibility is often used when it comes to improving work-life balance. While it is one of the best ways to prevent burnout, this article will explore the many other solutions. Because we, at deskbird, believe an employee-centric approach is key to success, here are 15 crucial tips to keep your workforce happy and satisfied.
1. Set realistic goals
As mentioned in our article about burnout statistics, 30% of employees declare feeling anxious because of overly ambitious deadlines and an intense workload. Unrealistic goals highly contribute to stress and exhaustion. Before sharing the next steps for a specific goal or giving them additional missions to tackle, ensure the tasks you are asking them to complete are achievable. To do this, take into consideration the resources they have, the time available, and most importantly, their feedback.
2. Define work boundaries and monitor working time
Working extra hours should be an exception. Unfortunately, many employees work more than they are supposed to. This tendency is a result of an abnormally high workload, a will to prove themselves, and a lack of prioritization, and many other reasons. Therefore, leaders should ensure that their team sticks to their schedule and does not overwork.
Are you managing a hybrid team? Remote employees especially feel the need to work longer hours to show they have the same availability and engagement as those on-site. Therefore, defining clear rules and boundaries is key for burnout prevention in flexible work environments.
👉 Start a free trial of the deskbird app and let your employees discover the benefits of workspace booking and hybrid scheduling!
3. Observe and listen to your team
There are many symptoms of burnout you can detect simply by observing your employees’ behaviors and listening to them. Here are a few common indicators to look out for:
complaining about lacking time for their personal life
yawning often and looking tired
being disengaged and disconnected
losing or gaining weight
showing impatience and irritability.
These are only a few examples of possible burnout in your organization. To avoid the situation from getting worse and to help your team members, talk with them to better understand how you can support them.
4. Be present and available for your collaborators
To spot burnout you need to be present and available for your team, no matter if you are working in the office or virtually. Managers should regularly check how their employees are doing. It also requires building a relationship based on trust. Your employees will only talk to you about the difficulties they encounter if they know you will listen and support them without judgment.
5. Actively support your workers
Simply listening and observing the issues causing work exhaustion is not enough to prevent it from happening. You have to understand your employees’ expectations, consider their feedback and find solutions that match their needs. Moreover, it is crucial that there is space for failure and improvement. Workers who can’t take initiative and expand their skills will get frustrated, demotivated, and purposeless. This also includes being accountable for your team during bad times as much as in good situations.
6. Detect the signs of a toxic workplace
As it is one of the main reasons for mental health issues and people quitting their job, we recently published an article about the signs of a toxic workplace. To foster a positive workplace culture and employee happiness, minimize toxic behaviors that could negatively affect your workforce. Be adamant about getting rid of abusive practices, disrespect, favoritism, or exclusion, all of which can lead to anxiety and depression.
An easy way to prevent burnout in the workplace is to measure your employee satisfaction on a regular basis. Various tools can help detect if your workers are happy or if there are any issues. A very effective solution is to conduct employee satisfaction surveys to collect anonymous feedback. This gives you a clear understanding of the general feeling toward the workplace. However, this will not help you identify individual distress. Consequently, we also encourage you to organize one-to-one meetings to talk with your team members personally. This is another reason why trust is key. Otherwise, they won’t feel at ease sharing their thoughts with you.
8. Create an employee-centric culture
Your team members are your best asset for growth and success. It doesn’t matter how great your products or services are. If your collaborators are unhappy, they will either stay and not perform well, or quit, which will negatively impact your business. Employee happiness and productivity are interconnected as much as job satisfaction and success are. Creating a culture that focuses on the needs and well-being of its workforce is one of the best ways to avoid work depression.
9. Make workplace connection a priority
How attached to the organization do you think your employees are? Are you trying to enhance workplace connection? People that feel connected to their company, their work, and their colleagues are usually happier and more satisfied with their professional life. Having more quality relationships at work and feeling that you are in the right place with the right people, make workers less exposed to burnout. This other key recommendation also fosters a healthy work environment.
10. Allow more flexibility
Allowing more flexibility at work enables your workforce to have a better work-life balance and be less anxious about juggling professional and personal life. It gives them more time for practicing their hobbies, doing sports (which considerably decreases stress), taking care of themselves, being available for family and friends, and so on. Many companies have maintained a hybrid work model even after the pandemic. But you can increase employee centricity and flexibility by implementing flexitime. It will benefit both your business and your team.
👉 Do you want to know more about flexible hours arrangements? Check our article regarding flexitime and its benefits!
11. Recognize and reward your workforce
Acknowledging a good job and showing your coworkers appreciation for their involvement and their input is vital. As mentioned earlier, they are your best asset and shouldn’t be taken for granted. A lack of recognition can deeply impact your employees’ engagement and eventually lead to burnout. Letting them know that you see the work they do and their efforts in addition to rewarding them is a great way to keep your employees’ morale up.
12. Develop an effective and positive communication strategy
According to a study about communication in the workplace in 2022 from Zippia, “57% of employees report not being given clear direction by their supervisors.” Miscommunication, a lack of transparency and ambiguous expectations often results in unnecessary stress and frustration. Setting up good communication with efficient tools (ones that work for your team) and a safe space for workers to express their opinion is key.
13. Create purpose
When starting a new position, people are usually extra motivated and engaged. Unfortunately, this can quickly vanish if they lose their sense of purpose in their job. For example, if they cannot find a good reason to go to work, this is a bad sign.Having a meaningful job is one of the most important characteristics for today’s multigenerational workforce. Thus, the absence of meaning can also create frustration and lead to burnout. Bringing purpose in your employees’ missions is crucial to keep them satisfied and happy about their job.
14. Avoid micromanaging your coworkers
Trusting your team also includes not being on their backs all the time and checking what they are doing. Micromanagement is a source of stress for employees and can slowly (but surely) destroy their self-confidence and the relationship you built with them. This leadership approach is counterproductive. People don’t need to be babysat to do their job correctly. It can actually have the opposite effect and decrease their productivity. Having the feeling of being constantly watched and monitored is bad for your employees’ mental health.
👉 Are you looking for a solution to easily create a flexible workforce timetable? Have a closer look at our week planning feature!
15. Invest in your team with leadership training
If you think your management style could be better but don’t know how to improve it, we encourage you to take leadership training. According to Gallup, workers “who feel supported by their manager are about 70% less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis.” Consequently, learning how to manage your team the best way is a very smart investment for your employees and your business.
We hope these 15 recommendations enable you to understand how to prevent burnout in the workplace and give you clear ways to avoid it from happening in your organization. If there is one thing you must take from this guide about burnout prevention is to be employee-centric. Take care of your employees and focus on their needs. One of the most important elements of job satisfaction for today’s workforce is flexibility. Because it is something people expect in their jobs, deskbird provides you with a smart and modern online solution for desk booking and hybrid space management.