Employee burnout has been a problem for years. But it’s escalated dramatically over the last few months due to higher stress and pressure at work and in life. As a result, more and more employees are feeling depleted, exhausted, and just plain unmotivated.
While this is easy to understand, you still need them to work hard and meeting productivity goals. But pushing them harder isn’t the answer. Instead, here are six tips for helping out an employee who’s struggling:
Tip #1: Never punish an employee.
If one of your team members isn’t performing up to par, it’s easy to get frustrated. However, a knee-jerk reaction won’t get you far if they’re dealing with burnout. Instead, be patient and try to get to the root of the problem. If this kind of behavior is uncommon for your employee, then they’re likely dealing with some internal issues.
Tip #2: Talk about it.
One of the best steps you can take with an employee who’s burned out is to meet with them privately and talk about it. Share a time when you went through something similar and how you dealt with it. The less stigma there is and the more you bring it out into the open, the easier it will be to deal with.
Tip #3: Make sure they’re taking their time off.
Many top-performing employees feel guilty for taking their vacation days or time away from work. But this can lead to more burnout and stress. Instead, if you have a staff member who is having a hard time at work and they haven’t been taking their paid time off, encourage them to do so. This will give them time to rest, refresh, and recharge.
Tip #4: Brainstorm solutions.
Depending on the source of the problem, work with your employee to come up with solutions that will help them overcome the situation. For instance, if there’s a stressful issue at home they’re dealing with, perhaps offering flex hours or the ability to telecommute for a short-term period of time will help them better navigate through their circumstances.
Tip #5: Make sure you’re not part of the problem.
If you have a star employee, they could become your go-to person when you need help. But, as a result, they could become overloaded with tasks and work. So take a step back and make sure you’re giving this person a reasonable and manageable amount of work. If you’re not, then it’s time to start delegating.
Tip #6: Focus on your employee, not just your bottom line.
As a manager, it’s easy to get in the mode of calculating what it will cost you if an employee takes time off or cuts their hours. But get out of this mindset. Instead, look at each person on your team individually and ensure they have what they need to be successful on the job.
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