Avoiding Employee Burnout

5 Easy Steps Organizations Can Take to Improve Morale

By Marie Abate

Working more, sleeping less. This combination is typical for most working Americans and can lead to chronic fatigue and burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. When your employees are burned out, they may appear tired, become detached from their work and seem drained, overloaded or unappreciated. Many employees experience burnout when they feel overwhelmed and are unable to meet constant demands in their work environment.

Burnout usually occurs from low morale in the employee’s work environment and can result in productivity loss and increased levels of job turnover. The best way to avoid burnout is to improve the morale and work environment of your employees. Here are some easy ways to improve enthusiasm among your team:

  1. Share your vision with your employees. Your employees should know exactly what role they play in each organization and how to be successful in that role.
  2. Get to know your employees and recognize special events. Recognize special events in your employees’ lives, such as birthdays or anniversaries. Becoming invested in your employees’ lives lets your employees know that you not only care about their work performance, but you also care about them as human beings, which can make them feel more loyal to the organization and more comfortable in their job role.
  3. Praise employee achievement and use constructive criticism. Everyone likes to hear praise, so if you have an employee who has done a great job on a project, make sure to let that person know. It is important for your employees to hear that they are being recognized positively, and this reinforcement will motivate them to continue to work hard and be successful. When providing criticism, make sure to do it privately so the employee does not feel embarrassed or singled out, and make sure it is handled in a timely way so that necessary corrections can be made and the employee can improve.
  4. Take time out of the workday to have fun. Happy employees are productive employees. Whether you provide a tasty treat for a job well done or start a fun activity that gets employees out of their desks, these types of breaks can infuse happiness into any workday. Consider also hosting a volunteer activity for a good cause, such as building a house for Habitat for Humanity or sponsoring a Christmas Angel. Studies have shown that helping others can also make everyone feel happier and more energized after helping others even in a small way.1 These events are not only great for team building, but they are also a great morale booster.
  5. Invest in an employee assistance program (EAP). An EAP provides your employees and their household members with free, confidential assistance to help them solve any challenges they may be facing either at home or in the workplace. EAPs typically have very high success rates and on average provide an $8 return on investment on every dollar spent on the program. When employees use an EAP, they are able to get in-the-moment care and support from an EAP specialist, who can effectively guide the participant to a positive resolution to his or her issue. As a result, many organizations who offer EAPs typically experience fewer employee conflicts, reduced absenteeism, increased loyalty, productivity and workplace morale.2

Your organization can help improve morale by caring about employees, recognizing hard work with rewards and appreciation and providing programs such as EAPs that help employees resolve challenges and help them succeed. These small steps can go a long way in improving morale for your employees so burnout does not occur, and your employees can continue to be happy, fulfilled and productive.

BHS is in the business of bettering lives, so employees can bring their best selves to work. To learn more about how our EAP solutions can help your organization, contact BHS at 877-524-0555 or email us at betteringlives@bhsonline.com.

1 Gallup Poll, 2010

The American Institute of Stress, 2014

By Marie Abate,