Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it's probably happening as you read this.
The costs of dealing with workplace stress and the employee burnout that follows are skyrocketing every year. Now more than ever, it is apparent that business owners have to be vigilant and proactive when dealing with stress and burnout whenever they rear their ugly heads.
Before you begin hacking away at proverbial heads, you need a plan of action.
Where do you start?
Why not the HR department? The HR department is typically one of the most over-worked, over-stressed and under-appreciated teams across all businesses. It's likely that your HR team is no different.
An overworked HR team is hardly a new trend. In fact, it's more of a tired old trope than anything else. However, today's workplace presents a brand new plot twist. With employees taking on more and more responsibilities in addition to working more hours per week, the amount of HR burnout is rising drastically.
And it isn't just HR, it's happening all across the board.
How To Spot Workplace Stress
These days, the writing is on the wall.
For any company that wants to stay profitable and competitive, preventing burnout should be a top priority. Basically, they should put their employees first. Not just because they care deeply and authentically about their employees, but also because decreasing workplace stress will save money, increase productivity and minimize churn.
The tension that comes along with stress is a burden on everyone's shoulders in the workplace. The difficult task is to see signs of its arrival before that tension becomes the crushing weight stifling your business. To do that, you have to learn the symptoms of stress and take action to remedy them.
There are many signs and symptoms of burnout, but a few major ones include:
Increase in overtime hours/weekend work
- Unusual sensitivity
- Increase in personal/sick days
- A sharp drop-off in quality of work
- Mood swings
- Decrease socializing/increase in isolation
Lucky for you, we've already thought of this. Below you’ll find 5 of the most important ways to prevent workplace stress and eventual burnout, including a powerful turnkey method to handle employee bonuses and perks management.
1. Make Sure Your Employees Are Cross-Trained
Cross-training your employees is a healthy option for businesses, bosses and employees. In an HR department, cross-training can relieve pressure from any one team member by ensuring each employee is capable of handling a multitude of responsibilities within the department.
Cross-training also decreases a team's dependability on any one employee. If someone takes a sick day, goes on leave or decides to move on to greener pastures, there are a range of people who can easily fill in for them while mangers work to find a suitable replacement.
2. Don’t Treat Stress Like ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’
Stress is definitely the Dark Lord of the office. It’s the scary, slimy thing we’d all rather not notice even though we must. For too many businesses, that habit of avoiding the issue breeds a much larger problem.
Managers and business owners have a tendency to treat stress the same way wizards and witches treat Voldemort...as if the evil thing doesn’t exist. At least not until some really catastrophic event happens and everyone has to depend on Harry Potter to save the day.
The problem is Potter doesn’t work at your office. So us muggles have to become a lot more proactive when dealing with stress in the workplace.
Instead of pretending it doesn’t exist, address it. An effective way to prevent HR burnout is to teach stress management. Show your employees how to cope with stress. It’s always going to be a reality in any goal-driven, fast-paced environment.
If the business is going to run smoothly, we must learn to keep stress and other tensions completely in check.
3. Give ‘Em A Break
Break time matters. A lot.
Even a quick 5-minute break can go a long way to stave off problematic symptoms of stress and burnout. This is why anyone in a position of management must make it a priority to encourage employees to take breaks.
Yes, they can get more work done if they work through lunch. The risk of that far outweighs the reward, though. In the short-term a few reports get filed more quickly. In the long run, your workforce looses clarity, focus and the will to stay committed to quality work. They'll cut corners in favor of ease and speed, and the business will suffering for it.
Either way you slice it, you’re going to have major problems with your workforce if they're not taking enough time away from work.
While taking daily breaks are one of the most important stress management tools in the toolbox, correct usage of paid time off is helpful in delaying burnout. A well-timed vacation is extremely restorative and necessary to prevent HR Burnout. When timed correctly, a day off can relieve pent-up stress and aggression, allowing your employees to return to work rejuvenated and clear-minded.
4. Show Your People Some Love
Show your employees appreciation.
This is the most important thing you can do for your employees besides actually paying them. Feeling appreciated is a base level need for everyone in your organization, especially your HR team.
Lack of appreciation can lead to dramatically lower morale. It creates a sense of detachment in your employees and takes the passion out of their work. The moral of the story is employees need to be rewarded for their dedication. Finding a way to facilitate that need is a huge leadership responsibility.
You can do this by offering financial bonuses or using a social recognition system. Businesses also use perks as incentives. Depending on the size of your workforce, organizing and tracking the perks for each of your employees can seem daunting.
Perk management doesn’t have to be intimidating. It can actually be done with a click from a powerful perks platform. With PerkNow, your employees can have all the perks they deserve in seconds.
It’s only the best way to automate and scale employee appreciation. It’s a powerful perks platform that streamlines your employee rewards programs to save you money, time and energy.
PerkNow empowers businesses to curb burnout and increase appreciation without the arduous process of building their own perks management system.
The platform allows leaders to easily choose from hundreds of discounts, gift cards, swag or even perks they already offer. With PerkNow, appreciation is quick and simple no matter how large your workforce.