Preventing employee burnout when you have a skeleton staff

By Robert Half on 14th April 2020

When some of your employees are on holiday, out on sick leave or have recently decided to leave the organisation, it’s likely your remaining staff will feel overworked. Not only is your business’s productivity diminished, but additional stress can produce exhausted workers who will soon become increasingly disengaged.

Here are some tips to help you cope:

1. Be realistic

Take a step back and ask yourself some questions. Are your employees tackling doable workloads? Does everyone have all the resources and information they need to handle their projects? One fast path to burnout is to consistently dole out overly ambitious or unclear assignments that even the most skilled professional would have trouble completing.

2. Support work-life balance

Unrelenting stress doesn’t exactly fuel happiness or efficiency. Employees who like their jobs consistently cite work-life balance as one of the most valuable aspects of their organisation’s culture. Respecting the obligations and interests that occupy workers outside of the office helps prevent burnout at work.

Where possible, consider offering alternative working arrangements, such as telecommuting or flextime, to help your employees juggle personal and professional responsibilities.

3. Recognise hard work

Feeling appreciated and well-compensated can make challenging workloads easier to handle for employees. At minimum, ensure you are offering salaries equal to or slightly above your competition. Offering appreciation can be as simple as a “thank you” during a staff meeting or as involved as a nomination of your team for internal and external awards. If they do something well, take notice. If you implement ideas submitted by your employees, give them credit.

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