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Avoiding Employee Burnout and Finding Work-Life Balance

It’s Friday! How many of your colleagues come in every Friday saying TGIF, Thank Goodness It’s Friday!  It’s become a sort of catch phrase in our society, obsessed with clocking in long hours, burning the midnight oil, and then crashing on the weekends.

But what if you stopped living for the weekends and started living everyday saying TGIT, Thank Goodness It’s Today! That instead of loathing the 40+ hours you put in at your job, you found a job that fit your life.

Burnout has become a real epidemic in the workplace and once an employee hits a certain threshold there’s often no going back.  64% of North American employees report high levels of stress (Statista, 2016).

Some signs that you or a colleague might be exhibiting employee burnout include, feeling tired or sick, muscle tension, headaches, no longer caring, procrastination, irritability, and no sense of satisfaction or pride associated with your work (OfficeVibe, 2014).

As an employee, some things you can do to reduce your stress and burnout when at work include:

  • Relaxation techniques including yoga, meditation and deep breathing.
  • Making time for exercise (even if it’s a 20 minute walk around the block on your lunch break).
  • Taking time off.  This time away from the office can often give you time to reflect on how you can perform more effectively and efficiently when you’re there.
  • Communicate openly. Learn to communicate with your team and let them know when you are overwhelmed or are unable to take on any more work capacity.  When you communicate, you will often find people who are able to help with a project.

As a leader, you play a critical role in preventing employee burnout and stress and creating a work-life balance and environment conducive to productivity and high performance.  Some ways that you can create a culture where employees are engaged, loyal and want to refer others are:

  • Remove obstacles that get in the way of your employees doing their best work. This might include examining unnecessary policies and procedures such as dress code, vacation time, remote working, or flex time.
  • Provide Learning and Development opportunities. Give them the tools they need to do their job. Your talent want to feel enabled to best serve their colleagues and customers and want skills that will make them more marketable now and in the future.
  • Give autonomy to your employees. Don’t micromanage your workers. This just makes them feel small and unimportant.  Train your employees to understand your company’s values and vision and allow them to make good decisions within that framework.
  • Communication openly and authentically. Schedule regular meetings where you can touch base on your employees. Once a week or every 2 weeks is a good time frame, this way you stay on top of knowing their workload, when they are overwhelmed, and when problems arise you can help to solve them quickly.
  • Recognize and reward service and performance. Authentic recognition is so important to make your employees feel acknowledged.  When you recognize your employees (both monetarily and non-monetarily), they will feel more engaged and energize and willing to put forth their best efforts.

For more information on creating a company culture where your employees (and customers) will want to stay longer, and positively refer others get in touch for a 15-minute demo of our employee recognition program.

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Peter Psichogios is the President of Global Engagement Solutions whose mission is to help companies create engaging employee and customer experiences. Prior to joining GES Peter Psichogios served as an executive member of one of the largest Instructional System Association companies in the world. In this capacity, he led all the front-end analysis and worked directly with Dr. Ken Blanchard, leading the large-scale e-Learning and employee engagement initiatives. Peter has been fortunate to work with the who's who of the Fortune 500 and many of the world's fastest growing companies, helping them deliver innovative learning, engagement and recognition solutions.