Being a business owner comes with many responsibilities, and one of those is to cultivate a positive atmosphere within your team.

Whether your business comprises fewer than five people or is rapidly growing into the tens or hundreds, managing employee wellbeing at work should be a priority for you. Indeed, Aviva research has confirmed that since the pandemic, work-life balance has overtaken salary in a list of employee priorities for the first time.

One word you may be hearing more often these days is “burnout”. Burnout describes a feeling of “running on empty”, desperately needing rest, or being overcome by stress typically caused by work.

Sadly, research by Glassdoor, published by HR News, found that cases of burnout in the UK increased by a staggering 48% in the year to July 2022.

Of course, having burned-out employees is not ideal, for neither the efficiency of your business nor the culture of your workplace.

So, read on to find out four simple but effective ways to banish burnout in your team in 2023.

1. Discuss the effects of burnout with your team

Seeing as “burnout” is a relatively modern term, some employees may be feeling its effects without having the language to describe their feelings.

As an employer, letting your colleagues know how to spot the signs of burnout can be constructive. According to Mental Health UK, these include:

  • Feeling too exhausted to do your job, or even show up to work
  • Experiencing physical exhaustion symptoms including headaches, muscle fatigue, hair loss, and chest pains
  • Feeling detached, unmotivated, and lonely
  • Taking a negative outlook on everything
  • Experiencing empathy fatigue with clients or colleagues
  • Being emotionally overwhelmed by work.

By being open and honest about the signs and significance of burnout, you could help your team spot the symptoms before the situation worsens.

2. Ensure workloads are reasonable

One of the simplest, easiest ways to prevent burnout in your team is to offer reasonable workloads.

Indeed, research by Champion Health revealed that the number one cause (76%) of work-related stress is caused by increased workload.

As a business owner, it can sometimes be difficult to gauge how much workload employees can handle. The ability to adapt to high-intensity situations is important for any serious role, but if you place too much pressure on even the most capable employee, they will likely burn out eventually.

If your colleagues feel they are unable to complete the required tasks within their contracted hours, and so feel pressured to work during evenings and weekends to make up for it, it could be that cases of burnout are only a matter of time.

So, regularly checking in with employees, and asking how they feel about their current workload is a great place to start.

Plus, establishing open communication between yourself and your team can help your employees maintain the essential work-life balance that can prevent burnout from occurring.

3. Offer perks that can reduce employee stress

As we mentioned earlier, Aviva research suggests that work-life balance has overtaken salary in a ranking of employee priorities for the first time.

The study suggests that in a post-pandemic world, many workers have learned to prioritise their wellbeing, not just their career success.

So, as an employer, you have a choice to make: be on their side and encourage your team to look after themselves, or push for greater productivity and risk managing a group of burned out individuals.

In addition to competitive remuneration, to aid work-life balance and reduce employee stress, you could offer:

  • Fitness perks, including gym memberships and cycle-to-work schemes
  • A healthcare plan that includes physiotherapy, holistic treatments like massages, and mental health support
  • The opportunity to socialise with other employees, including seasonal social events and group lunches
  • The option to work on a hybrid model, to aid those with care needs or who prefer to work from home
  • Retail discounts to reduce financial stress.

These benefits could help your employees feel encouraged to embrace a healthy work-life balance, and may reduce the possibility of burnout in the process.

4. Take action if you notice multiple cases of burnout

Ultimately, prevention is better than reaction. However, if you are already observing cases of burnout in your team, you know it is time to act now.

If multiple members of your team are burned out, it could be that the workload they share is simply too high, or that the professional environment has become stressful for other reasons.

One beneficial way to begin taking action against burnout is to communicate with your team. Do not wait until the person or people come to you. If you notice symptoms of burnout, approach them for a sensitive conversation.

Once you have heard their side of the story and listened to their concerns, you can take steps to combat the issues they are facing.

Strategies for fighting burnout could include:

  • Spreading their extra workload around the team to take the weight off their shoulders
  • Offering flexible working hours, especially if they are experiencing insomnia or other stress-related health issues
  • Increasing your one-to-one meetings to regularly check in with their wellbeing
  • Creating a backup plan in case the person needs to take time off to recuperate.

By taking immediate action to improve the health and wellbeing of a burned-out individual, you could prevent further stress both for yourself and for the person experiencing it.

Plus, this strategy can help protect your business from taking a hit when employees become too stressed to work efficiently.

Get in touch

For advice on managing your money as a business owner, please do get in touch with us at DBL Asset Management. Email or call 01625 529 499 to speak to us today.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.