5 Ways to Prevent Employee Burnout

Employee burnout is visible in numerous ways in all levels of your workplace hierarchy. It is most commonly associated with fatigued workers who work overtime regularly and who rarely take a day off. However, it can also be expressed in general job dissatisfaction, intense levels of stress, anger, cynicism or other negative emotions. Some workers may struggle with the inability to cope with seemingly minor stressors or inconveniences. As an employer, the impact of burnout can be felt throughout your operations. Burnout can result in decreased productivity and efficiency, a lower customer satisfaction rating, a declining employee retention rate and other consequences that you understandably want to avoid.

Understanding the Causes of Employee Burnout

Before you can determine the best ways to prevent employee burnout in your company, you need to understand its many causes. Long hours and long to-do lists are only some of several common causes. In many cases, multiple causes contribute to a serious issue rather than only one factor. For example, workers may also feel burnt out and overworked when they have too many responsibilities or when they lack the support and resources necessary to complete their tasks efficiently. Managerial oversight, conflicts with coworkers and other sources of stress may also contribute to burnout.

Effective Ways to Prevent Burnout in Your Workplace

Now that you understand what some of the many causes of employee burnout are, you can take smart steps to reduce its impact on your workforce. These are some of the more effective ways to prevent employee burnout in your workplace:

1. Assign a Realistic Workload

Managers are responsible for assigning a reasonable volume of work to each employee. Some managers see hardworking employees as workhorses who can handle more tasks than others. However, these individuals may work so hard or for longer hours than necessary because they feel intense stress and pressure to get their tasks completed. This stress is combined with an ever-expanding to-do list. Regardless of how efficient your employees seem to be, all employees should be assigned a realistic workload and should be able to complete their tasks within a reasonable number of hours each week.

2. Promote an Effective Work-Life Balance

Some employees may feel burnt out when they work too much and seemingly have minimal time to enjoy life on their own terms or to spend with family and friends. All employees should have ample time away from the office to exercise, to relax, to get an adequate amount of sleep at night, to tackle personal responsibilities and to maintain healthy relationships with friends and family. To promote an effective work-life balance in your team, consider allowing telecommuting periodically. Allow your team to use their paid time off on their own terms and without guilt. Consider offering additional paid time off beyond what is considered to be standard as a perk.

3. Encourage Employees to Disconnect Regularly

Today’s workers are increasingly connected to work activities wherever they go. They may immediately feel stress related to work activities as soon as they wake up and look at their phone. Emails, text messages and more may require attention throughout most waking hours. Their commute to and from work, their lunch hour and their evenings may also be impacted by their connectedness. Essentially, they are always on-duty even during their time away from the office. While you understandably want to maximize the benefits of technology in the workplace, encourage your team to turn off their devices at reasonable hours and on their days off. Work tasks can usually wait until normal business hours.

4. Invest in Efficiency-Based Technology

Workers may easily feel overwhelmed by their to-do list when each task is a struggle to complete. Numerous technological innovations are available that can bolster efficiency and help your team members to be more effective in their positions. These innovations are related to communication, project management, collaboration and more. Talk to your team about aspects of their positions that they struggle with. Then, explore available technology that may improve their work lives dramatically. Because technology continues to be improved, walk through this important step periodically for ongoing benefits.

5. Incorporate Relevant Perks and Benefits

Adding strategic perks and benefits may also improve your workplace in substantial ways. There is a cost associated with some of these perks, but you may discover that the expense is recouped in meaningful ways. For example, you can bring in a massage therapist to give chair massages to your team one day each month. You may host a potluck lunch to break up the monotony of the workday. Create an employee-of-the-month system that gives one person a prime parking space each month. This provides your team with recognition for their hard work and contributions. Perks and benefits can each have different impacts on your team, so a smart idea is to create a full list of combined benefits. These may transform your workplace culture with incredible results.

If your team is feeling burnt out, there is a good chance that you are as well. It can be challenging to find time in your busy work schedule to focus on improving the lives of your team, but this is an essential step that requires ample attention. After all, everything from productivity to turnover, customer satisfaction and more are at stake. Consider taking small, steady steps toward improving your work environment in these and other effective ways. Your employees and your business will benefit from the effort.

Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about the latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him @bmorepeters

Best Ways Managers Can Motivate Their Team

It’s hard to keep everything right on schedule when the office morale is low and people are slacking at half of their work capacities. According to Gallup, only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, 55% of them are unengaged and as many as 16% are actively disengaged. So, how do you get the other 71% to wake up? Simple, by following the instructions below:

Make it worth their while

No matter how interesting your employees’ job may be, sooner or later, their initial enthusiasm will fade, and they’ll feel like dogs chasing their tails. As a result, their productivity levels will drop, leaving you with a workforce operating at half-capacity. To avoid this, you need to constantly be raising the bar and setting new challenges for your employees. According to these statistics, 86% of millennials would keep their current positions if their employers provided them with career training and development, while 87% of them stated that professional development and career growth opportunities are very important. This could be anything ranging from specific job-related skills, languages, computer skills, and so on. In essence, by investing in your employees’ development, you’re effectively hitting two birds with one stone, as their newly acquired skills will keep them both motivated and more productive at the same time.

Provide them with regular feedback

Providing your employees with a steady stream of feedback will show them that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed. According to PwC, 69% of employees stated that they would work harder if their efforts were better recognized. Give praise where praise is due and acknowledge all of your employees’ hard work to keep the morale afloat. Also, don’t hesitate to hand out constructive criticism to those employees who might be slightly under-performing, as 92% of people surveyed agreed that, when appropriately delivered, negative feedback is an effective performance booster. So, skip the dry formalities of the annual and quarterly reviews, and call up a meeting face to face. Just be wary, as some employees are more sensitive than others. Always give positive examples of their performance first, before criticizing them, in order to avoid hurting any egos.

Give out incentives

For some of your more competitive employees, a simple pat on the back simply won’t do. Instead, they’ll want a more formal sign of recognition for their troubles that they can share with their friends and families. Show them that you care and give them a master gift card, take them out for a fancy dinner, or offer them some paid time-off to spend with their loved ones. This will give them a sense of accomplishment that will motivate them to work even harder. Also, don’t forget to commemorate important milestones with your employees, both company and individual ones, as they are the ideal time for you to be generous and thoughtful.

‘Laissez-faire’

One of the worst possible things you could do inside the office, is to try and micro-manage each and every one of your employees. This is not only highly demotivational, but counter-productive at the same time, as frankly, no one likes having someone breathe down their neck while they’re working. What’s more, employees will get the opinion that you don’t trust them and as such lose confidence in their own abilities. Rather, what you should be doing is giving them some increased autonomy by letting them do things their way. Be flexible, let them organize their own schedules, don’t choke their creativity with unnecessary rules and regulations, and they’ll respect you more for it. According to this survey, 89% of companies reported better employee retention due to the implementation of flexible work options. So, focus your attention on more important matters, and cut your workers some slack every once in a while.

Create a positive working environment

Nurturing a healthy office atmosphere is vital for the overall productivity of your employees, and their mental well-being as well. Team-building events are an excellent way to break up the monotony of the daily grind and let your employees have a bit of harmless fun. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be something elaborate and expensive, but something as simple as a casual Friday, or a spontaneous night out. The most important thing, however, is that it’s something totally unrelated to work, as the main idea is for people to let off some steam and get their minds off work. All in all, these events present the perfect opportunity for your employees to bond with their co-workers and improve their mutual working relationships.

To sum up, different strategies appeal to different people. What works for one employee may not be the case with the rest of the lot. Therefore, it’s vital to keep experimenting with various combinations of these methods, in order to find just the right concoction for your specific workforce.

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

5 ways to combat skilled labor shortage

Let’s face it, today, more than ever, every business owner struggles with the issue of skilled labor shortage sooner or later. There are just not enough people interested or qualified enough for certain jobs, and that can take a real toll on any business. When you’re missing skilled labor, you’refacing a decrease in productivity and quality. Soon, that can have disastrous consequences for your firm. That’s why it’s important to address this issue on time, and ensure your business prospers. Thankfully, there are a few ways to do this that won’t backfire and are guaranteed to work.

1. Educate students

Pairing up with universities or schools is a great way of investing in your future. The interest for your firm should be developed early, meaning you should inform those who are still in school. This way, they’ll keep your firm in mind as soon as they finish school and are likely to apply for a job. You’ll have to worry less about not having enough staff because you’ve made sure the future experts know to look for you.

Many schools are looking for firms to partner up with, so as to ensure their students have a bright future. That’s your chance to reach out to one and devise a program which benefits you both. By doing so, you’ll also be seen as a company which cares about its community and the people in it, which is a very appealing trait to potential employees. Show that you are there for your community, and it will help you in your time of need.

2. Only keep the tasks you absolutely need

The process of creating a certain product or delivering a certain service is a delicate one. It’s a coherent system with many steps, all ensuring you’ve got a quality service or product as the end result. When you’re missing skilled workers though, you need to cut the process short a little.

Make a priority list and only do the steps that are absolutely necessary. Everything that’s done just for appearances should be left out. This way, you’ll be saving time, and more importantly, the energy of the workers you do have. It’ll promote efficiency and productivity. What’s more, it’s a great way of still providing good services until you get the extra help you need.

3. Put your employees first

Even though you are suffering from a skilled labor shortage and your employees have to work double to make up for that, remember that they’re people too. That means you shouldn’t overwork them and expect them to be able to cover all the positions. After all, you wouldn’t need more workers if your employees could do it all.

Instead of trying to make them pick up the slack and just filling slots, make sure they know you appreciate their efforts. If you’re not kind to them and don’t pay attention to their needs and well-being, it can lead to more people quitting and then you’ll be in an even bigger mess.Showing your workforce you appreciate them even in these troublesome times will help them stay motivated and pull-through. Together, you’ll be able to face this problem head on and come up with the best solution.

4. Opt for foreign workers

Importing your workforce can also be one of the options. Sometimes there just aren’t enough skilled workers in your country. In fact, more and more first world countries are choosing this option as a way to combat the shortage, Australia being one of them. Though, you need to be careful, because immigration laws are complex and often difficult to understand.

You can be sure the most informed immigration lawyer in Sydney will testify to that. That’s why it’s always advisable to talk to one before you decide to take any actual steps in bringing foreign people into the country. Every informed decision is a good decision.

5. Up your marketing strategy to a new level

Sometimes the problem with short staff is that people don’t even know you’re hiring, or what your firm is about. This is a question of a poor marketing strategy, but luckily, it can be easily solved. In this age of technology, you should make your company present on social media.

That way you’ll be up to date and will be able to connect with potential employees more easily. People will also know more about your company and are likely to be interested in working there. Even though it seems that social media is just for fun, it can actually be quite useful for things like this, too. In fact, there are a lot of professional social networks you can check out.

Conclusion

As you can see, not having enough skilled workforce doesn’t have to take a toll on your business. The important thing is to stay determined and motivated, and soon, your business will flourish. Hiring those who are good at their job promotes positive energy all around and, in turn, makes for very productive and confident workers. Never settle for less than your company deserves, so always hire the best of the best.

Daniel Brown is a law graduate and a passionate blogger from Sydney. His areas of interest are alternative dispute resolution and its applicability in different fields of law, IP law and resolution of disputes arising from intellectual property infringement and commerce law

6 Ways To Create A Safer Workplace

No matter the shape or size of your business, it’s crucial that workplace safety is always one of your top priorities. Every year, more and more employees are being injured at work, due to nothing more than negligence from their employer. If you want to keep your team safe and save yourself time, money, and stress, then you need to work towards creating a much safer working environment. Here are six things you can do to create a safer workplace.

  1. Only Hire The Best

When you start to take on employees, it’s vital that you only hire the best, even if it means paying out a bit extra in salaries and benefits. Competent and hardworking members of staff are much more likely to pay attention to and follow the rules, especially those regarding risks and safety. This should result in many fewer on-the-job accidents and a safer workplace overall.

  1. Do Plenty Of Research

To understand what a safe workplace entails, you need to do some research and find out what health and safety rules may apply to your workplace and state. You should also educate yourself about personal injury cases from the best. With this information, you’ll know the sorts of hazards to look out for, which will be helpful when it comes to conducting risk assessments.

  1. Provide The Proper Tools

Telling your staff how to stay safe is a necessary first step, but, unless you provide them with the proper tools and resources they need, you can’t expect them to take these precautions. With that in mind, it’s crucial that you provide safety training, as well as safety equipment, like helmets, goggles, and steel toes boots. You should also ensure that these are easily accessible.

  1. Stay Clean And Tidy

Whether you operate out of an office, a warehouse, or a building site, a messy workspace can quickly lead to accidents and injuries. Because of this, you need to ensure that your workplace remains relatively clean and tidy at all times. Encourage your employees to keep their individual workspaces tidy and hire a regular office cleaner to help keep everything else in order.

  1. Watch What You’re Rewarding

It’s important that you show your employees you care and that you’re grateful for the work they do. This is why many business owners have benefit and reward schemes in place. That being said, you shouldn’t reward work, if a team member has compromised their safety to get it done. Instead, you should make a point of rewarding staff who ensure they follow your safety rules too.

  1. Plan Regular Safety Meetings

You might be in charge of your business, but it’s impossible to know everything that goes on in it. Because of this, you should make sure that you listen to safety feedback and advice from your employees. With this feedback, you should schedule regular safety meetings, to review and address any reported concerns. You should also ensure you conduct regular risk assessments.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to keep your team safe, so follow the tips above and do what you can to create a safer workplace.

4 Factors That Make a Comfortable Work Environment & How They Impact Employees

There’s no doubt about it—employees thrive better in more comfortable work environments. As a business owner, it is up to you to find creative ways to make the work space as cozy as possible without compromising on productivity. So, what can you do to spruce up the work environment? Here are four factors you should consider when considering a revamp.

Use Proper Lighting

Having the right type of lighting in the workplace is essential for creating productivity among workers. Lights that are too dim can cause employees to strain their eyes to see while extremely bright lights can cause headaches and dizziness. Find a warm, inviting lighting style that works with the rest of your office decor and doesn’t impede the ability of your employees to work in comfort.

Make Communication a Focal Point

What is the point in having a physically comfy workplace if emotional comfort is lacking? By opening up the lines of communication, your employees can feel like their presence within your company matters. Not only does this drive everyone to perform better, but it helps to build trust between workers at all levels.

Place Emphasis on Organization

A disorganized and dirty work space is both inefficient and discouraging to employees. Your business doesn’t have to be spotless from floor to ceiling, but it should be kept tidy enough so that workers feel comfortable. Of course, it is always a great idea to hire a commercial cleaning team to come in and help keep the environment as clean and hospitable as possible.

Also, make it a point to encourage employees to keep their spaces organized. Offering incentives or playing games that emphasize cleanliness and organization can help employees stay on top of their productivity and feel valued by you.

Make the Break Room Fun to Use

Break rooms sometimes come off as stiff, stale, and ultimately boring. They become the rooms that employees don’t enjoy spending time in when the rooms themselves have very little to offer. Break rooms should instead be areas where employees can relieve stress and spend time chatting with one another.

To make a break room fun, try adding some activities, such as a putting hole and golf clubs or a pool table. You could even put in an old-school arcade game to create a sense of nostalgia.

Your work environment won’t be flawless, but it should be physically and emotionally comfortable and inviting to all employees and visitors. As a business owner, the standard for comfort begins with you.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Improving Employee Morale: 5 Reasons to Throw a Fancy Company Party

You have been wanting to get your employees into the company spirit. You know that a festive occasion can be good for company morale. However, just throwing a huge company party for no reason may seem a bit odd to everyone involved. But, if you had a solid purpose behind doing so, it might really prove to be a wonderful way to get company morale looking up again. The following are five awesome reasons for throwing a fancy company party.

Getting Your Employees Acquainted

In large companies, it can be difficult to know who all your coworkers are. Throwing a fancy company party is one way to make it possible for your employees to have the chance to mingle and in some cases, meet for the first time. This can even give some employees a chance to learn how to work better together.

Honoring Important Accomplishments

Sometimes a major company win is worth celebrating. It is a time when you can throw a fancy party in honor of the achievements your company has made. Plus, it can be a nice way to reward the hard work that your employees are doing for your company.

A Merger

If your company is merging with another company, a fancy party might be a great way to bring the employees of two companies together for a smoother transition. Sometimes a function like this can help everyone to figure out where things stand as executives from both companies make their intentions for moving forward clearly understood. This is also a great time to unveil new project ideas and product releases that will be possible because of a merger, and it can be a good time to address how the acquiring company will deal with sustaining employee benefits.

The Holidays

Sometimes it is best to have a fancy party, complete with an experience company providing corporate catering, to keep people feeling up-beat during the holiday season. Especially when it comes to older workers in the company that may not have many relatives left, a company-wide function can be the next best thing for these employees. This can help them feel less lonely during the holiday season—especially when it is a company function in the Big Apple.

A Big Retirement

When you want to honor a visionary or beloved company leader, as they step down from their post, a company-wide party is a nice way to send such an individual off into retirement. It gives their fellow workers a great way to remember them before they go. It is also an event that can mark the beginning of a new chapter in a company’s efforts to move forward.

There are many great reasons to throw a party to improve employee morale. While it can be a great time for employees to let their hair down a little and feel relaxed, it can also be a good time to muster the troops to prepare them for bigger and better things to come. Of course, your employees will appreciate being pampered with a taste of living large on the company dime even if it is but for a short time.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Office Remodel: How to Keep Your Employees Accommodated during Major Renovations

While your office is being renovated there are a number of challenges that can pop up unexpectedly. Aside from the typical contractor and construction issues, it is likely that your employees will have some of their own issues from the noise, dust, parking issues, and other problems that come with a construction project on this scale. Luckily, there are a few different strategies one can use in order to minimize this issue. In the following guide, we will examine some ways to keep your employees accommodated during major renovations.

Determine Parking

Often times one of the biggest inconveniences for employees during an office remodel is the parking situation. Many office buildings are located in busy areas of town and already have issues with parking. Taking away even a small percentage of dedicated spots can cause havoc with on-time arrivals, towed cars, and many other snafus that are bound to come up. This may also help with your business insurance- employee cars that have to be parked off property tend to raise insurance rates.

Set up a parking plan before your remodel begins so that your employees will have a clear understanding of where to park. If you are in a busy urban area, try and speak with nearby businesses to reach some kind of arrangement where your employees can park there temporarily. An ounce of prevention in this situation is worth even more than a pound of cure.

Bathroom Replacements

If your remodel is in your bathroom facilities or will be blocking access it is incredibly important that you set up alternative restroom facilities for your employees. Not only is it the right thing to do- it is the law. There are two ways that you can arrange for your employees to have access to restrooms during work hours.

The first is to hire a portable toilet company like Direct Hire. An organization like this can provide for all of your bathroom needs and washing. These services will travel to your location- no construction on your end involved at all. You also have the option of making a deal with a local business and using their facilities if need be.

An office renovation does not have to be a horrible experience for everyone involved. Similar to other problems in life, it can be avoided or lessened with some planning. Use the information and tips we went over in this article in order to keep your employees accommodated during an office renovation.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley