A key goal for most organizations is to put strategies in place to ensure their employees are happy and fully engaged. To this end, it’s critical to note that research data shows that one out of five employees who indicate they are highly engaged also report that they simultaneously experience high burnout. While passionate about their work, they also experience high levels of stress & frustration.
Employees may not always realize they are dealing with burnout – many often consider the stress they experience at work to be normal. It’s important to know the difference. This insight means that companies may be at risk of losing some of their most motivated and hard-working employees not for a lack of engagement, but because of their simultaneous experiences of high stress and burnout symptoms.
In order to promote employee engagement, it is crucial to provide employees with the resources they need to do their job well, feel good about their work and have time to recover from work stressors.
Organizations can apply the following best practices to ensure they have a healthy, engaged workforce.
Strategy # 1 – Check for Signs
Do a weekly check-up to see where your employees are on the following spectrums:
Employees who show signs of exhaustion and/or express how listless or drained they are may be on the road to burnout. They may be overextending themselves and depleting their emotional and/or physical resources.
Be on the lookout! Exhaustion and cynicism are the two primary measures of burnout.
Strategy # 2 – Support Your Employees
Praise and acknowledgement are critical success factors. Lack of recognition from managers, co-workers and external stakeholders tends to devalue both the level of work and an employee’s level of self-esteem and is closely associated with feelings of uselessness. The higher the work demands, the higher an employee’s need for support, acknowledgement or opportunities for recovery.
Insufficient reward, whether financial, institutional or social, increases employees’ vulnerability to burnout. It is proven that employees who perceive their supervisors as being both fair and supportive are less susceptible to burnout and are more accepting of major organizational change.
Strategy # 3 – Set Sustainable Work Practices
Work demands need to be balanced. Ensure you increase resources — particularly before important deadlines and during times of stress.
When work overload is a chronic job condition, not an occasional emergency, there is little opportunity for employees to rest, recover and restore balance. A sustainable workload, in contrast, provides employees with the opportunities to use and refine their existing skills as well as to become effective in new areas of activity.
Strategy # 4 – Foster Employee Involvement
Active participation in organizational decision-making has been consistently found to be associated with higher levels of efficiency and lower levels of exhaustion. Employees who are listened to and who play an active role in their day-to-day workplace operations exhibit higher levels of energy and health at work.
The ability to identify developing problems early on, before they become more serious and pervasive, can enable timely, preventive solutions.
This points to the possibility of being able to customize interventions to targeted employee populations. The potential power of this approach rests on the fact that it functions like an organizational ‘checkup’.
What organizations must strive for is smart engagement — the kind that leads to enthusiasm, motivation and productivity, without the burnout.
To learn more about the services Flex Surveys offers and how they can help your team, contact us at 877.327.5085 or visit our Contact Page to set up a demo.