Managing Burnout in the Workplace

As the pressures of a demanding work culture increases, it is no surprise that around this time of year, many employees may be experiencing burnout. This can include feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, dreading or no longer enjoying work or falling productivity.

As a manager, one of your responsibilities is to support your staff’s well-being. By considering wellbeing in your organisation, you can create a healthy, positive, and motivated working environment.

There are many ways that you can help reduce staff burnout in the workplace, such as:

Adjusting workloads

Be conscious of the volume of work you are giving to employees and set reasonable expectations and deadlines. If a member of staff already has a busy schedule, do not push them to do extra work that could easily be delegated to someone else. Some employees may feel obliged to take on more work or juggle several projects, leading onto our next point.

Allowing employees to set boundaries

It’s healthy for staff to be able to say ‘no’ to extra work they cannot take on, as there is a risk of ‘over-promising and under-delivering’. Employees should also not be encouraged to do continual overtime or unpaid work at home, as there should be a strong boundary between work and personal life. Also refrain from contacting employees outside of office for non-emergency reasons, as this can encroach on their personal life.

Provide breaks

Giving your staff the opportunity to take regular breaks throughout the workday will help reduce burnout. This could be as simple as taking a 5-minute break every hour and going for a short walk around the building. Taking time to step away from the desk can help improve physical health and mental clarity. It is also important to take breaks between large projects; employees need time to recover, and rest is vital.

Encouraging employees to ask for help

Create a psychologically safe workplace where employees can feel comfortable asking for help. When managers can discuss burnout and mental health, it helps normalise feelings for employees, removes the stigma, and makes it easier for others to come forward. If an employee feels unable to talk to someone more senior, encourage them to talk to a friend, a family member, or a trusted colleague for help and advice.

If you are interested in learning more, the Development Zone has a range of courses related to topics we have touched on in this article, including:

If you are new to the Aviva Development Zone, we offer a 14-day free trial where you can try every feature and every course! Click here to find out more:

About the author

Regine joined RWA between 2021-2023 having graduated from Loughborough University with a 2:1 in Graphic Communication and Illustration. As a Digital Content Assistant, Regine used their graphic design and illustration experience to create engaging e-learning modules. 

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