September is a busy month. Kids are going back to school, summer vacations are ending, and everyone is heading back to work. People tend to take fewer vacations between September to November, so how can leaders help employees avoid burnout and support a positive work-life balance?
Symptoms of employee burnout can include difficulty concentrating and feeling overwhelmed, which impacts quality of work. Burnout can result from various reasons, like an unmanageable workload, an inflexible schedule, or a lack of expectations and clarity about an employee's role, to name a few. On the other hand, organizations that have engaged employees are 78% more profitable (How to Reduce Burnout in the Workplace - Limeade).
Employers are trying to find creative ways to ensure that their employees maintain a sense of work-life balance. Leaders with open and transparent communication with their teams are more likely to recognize when someone has been in overdrive for too long. Weekly check-ins with a portion of the agenda focused on the employee’s overall well-being can help foster that level of communication. Acknowledging your team's effort after a challenging project is vital. If your team has just completed a complicated implementation or an internal organizational change, provide recovery time to help bring back some balance to the employees' lives.
Other strategies to consider:
Meeting-free days: Pick a day during the week designated as meeting-free on everyone's calendar. This day gives people the time needed to catch up or get ahead of the tasks on their list.
Wellness days: Wellness days can be in the form of one day a month that does not detract from accrued time.
Team lunches and fitness days: People like to be social, so having designated team lunches or fitness days, where the employees do a low-impact workout together, can help encourage employees to talk and get to know one another. Building connections like this makes it easier to reach out when there is a work-related problem and ask for help.
Implementing software: Technology that helps maintain an organization can also assist with keeping people from reaching the point of burnout. Examples of accessible software to help employees organize their to-dos and remain on task can range from project management software like Monday.com or easy to-do lists integrated with email applications like Outlook or Google Workspace.
As organizations work to grow and retain their staff, reviewing HR strategies and implementing a culture that respects employees’ work-life balance is essential. Communication is vital because there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to obtain the perfect work-life balance. It is crucial to have team leaders dedicated to high engagement and keep balance as a daily priority with their employees. Leadership must lead by example; practicing the work-life balance strategies that the organization has implemented will help create the culture that employees want to grow in.
If you need assistance boosting employee engagement at your organization, please contact Kiwi Partners' HR Services team.