Preventing employee burnout requires designing workplaces that are supportive, engaging and support work-life balance. Whether you’re starting to notice signs of burnout amongst your employees or are looking to proactively prevent the problem before it starts, consider the following practices. The bullets under each category provide ideas for putting each theme into practice.
1. Build-in Breaks
- Encourage breaks throughout the day, instead of just at mealtime.
- Remind employees that stretching, walks and yoga are all great ways to get up and moving for ten to fifteen minutes during the workday.
- Provide resources for productive wellness practices, such as subscriptions to at-home workout classes, access to telehealth therapy and more.
2. Create Positive Working Environments
- Gallup research reports that “suitable lighting in the work environment” is crucial for both productivity and promoting positive emotions that reduce depression and stress in the workplace. Examine the lighting in your office – is there enough access to natural light?
- Does your workspace invite connection or hinder it? If you don’t have gathering spaces for employees to both work and relax, consider making room for these important areas. If collaboration spaces already exist but aren’t be utilized, they can be made more useful and inviting through the addition of items such as whiteboards, adequate seating or even light snacks.
3. Offer an Employee Assistance Program
- Offer a comprehensive employee assistance program to support employees going through challenging personal issues.
- If you have an employee assistance program in place, make sure it’s addressing the needs your employees actually struggle with. Consider whether your EAP grants employees access to help for common problems, such as smoking cessation and weight control.
4. Review Your Wellness Offerings
- Assess your mental health coverage for the inclusion of benefits that provide comprehensive coverage for mental health, such as therapist visits, group therapy, and emergency mental healthcare.
- If your current plans do cover mental health services, examine the feasibility of employees paying for deductibles and copays. You can remove barriers to access for your employees to receive mental health support by adding a Health Savings Account to your benefits offerings to help employees save pre-tax for copays and deductibles.
5. Support Social Connections at Work
- Consider starting an Employee Resource Group to encourage social connection and foster engagement at work.
- Design team-building activities and off-site events.
- Sponsor social events and work-free in-person interactions with coworkers.