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6 Ways to Avoid Burnout

17 May 2022

Mental health has rightly taken center stage in recent years. More and more people are waking up to the fact that not only is mental illness real, but it is also having a huge effect on the public’s general wellbeing.

While this is a welcome change, many are still in the dark about how poor mental health can affect different people. Burnout is particularly misunderstood and many people may be experiencing it without realising it. 

The best way to start the battle against burnout is to understand. We’re going to define burnout in this blog and then give you 6 ways you can prevent it for yourself and your employees. Whether you’re in the retail or hospitality industry, mental health is an important thing to consider. 

What is burnout?

In short, burnout is a type of intense stress related to overworking. It can manifest with both physical and mental symptoms. Generally, someone suffering from burnout will feel exhausted, unmotivated, and can even lose their sense of identity. It’s important to note that burnout isn’t a medical diagnosis but can still be just as serious.

How to spot burnout

As an employer, you’re responsible for the well-being of your employees. No one is asking you to be a doctor but you should still be able to identify the early warning signs of burnout. If you can catch it before it becomes a problem, you’ll end up with happier employees and better customer service

Some of the symptoms you should be on the lookout for in your employees include: 

  • Cynicism towards their role and the work they produce 
  • Trouble getting started on new tasks and finishing old ones 
  • Lack of concentration 
  • A decrease in energy and productivity 
  • Unexplained head and stomach aches 
  • A general feeling of exhaustion
  • Visibly increased levels of stress

If you notice any of these symptoms in one or more of your employees, it may be time to act. Bear in mind that your employee may not want to talk about their mental health at work but you should still open the conversation and make sure they feel supported.

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Benefits include: 

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6 tips to tackle burnout

Depending on the role and the employee, burnout can sometimes be unavoidable. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t take proactive steps to avoid it in your workforce. Times are getting tough for many people and anything you can do to improve your employees’ well being should be encouraged.

While these tips mainly focus on what an employer can do to help their employees, they are general and can work for anyone, no matter where on the corporate ladder they sit. 

Encourage a healthy work/life balance 

Due to the extraordinary circumstances of the last couple of years, work has bled into the home. You may be guilty yourself of sending emails and messages outside of work hours. This can lead to employees feeling that they constantly have to be ‘on’ and ready to work during time that is rightfully theirs. 

As the employer, you can lead the way on this with some simple but instant improvements. Tell your employees to turn off after their shift and decompress. Work with your employees to create shifts that work for them rather than just what is most convenient to the business.

Set firm boundaries with work 

While a business can be a community, it is, and should remain, a business. Your employees are selling you their labor. You have near-complete control over their livelihoods, and whether they’ll be able to pay for necessities, like food and rent.

These power imbalances can lead to unhealthy expectations of what is expected on both ends. Setting firm boundaries around what is needed and what is expected can give employees a better sense of security and confidence in their role.

Allow employees to take time for themselves 

In certain industries, it’s understandable that there can be a certain level of stress. Burnout happens when an employee feels like they have no outlet to get away from and release that stress. 

With this in mind, you must, as a rule, encourage your employees to take time for themselves. This is time where they cannot be contacted for last-minute work emails or shifts. Offering time off is an undebatable good for your staff's well being. 

Build supportive networks 

There’s a lot an employer can do when an employee doesn’t feel supported in their job. While many things can cause this feeling, there are some cultural changes you can make to help build the right atmosphere in your business. 

Reassure your employees that you and their managers are there to support them as much as they need. It may also be worth contacting mental health charities and seeing if you could partner with them to provide extra care. 

Help employees find healthy coping mechanisms

Stress can make a person do strange things and if it isn’t processed in a healthy way it will inevitably lead to burnout. One of the most effective ways to combat stress is to use healthy coping mechanisms to channel it. 

Every person has their own way of coping, so it’s important to find a way that works for you. For some, it will be physical exercise. For others, it could be spending time on a creative hobby. In any case, make sure to give yourself and your employees time and space to find what works for them. 

Seek professional help 

Sometimes, the little things we do to improve our stress and working conditions don’t work. When that happens, it’s time to call in professional help. These professionals can help us get to the root of our problems and clear our heads. 

When seeking professional help, make sure to do you research. Certain professionals will specialise in certain areas and ironically, it will save you stress if you can find someone who is equipped to deal with burnout. 

A simple way to make life easier 

Since workplace stress can come from many sources, it’s important to ensure things are as easy as possible for management and staff. The Epos Now Complete Solution offers a better way to do business. 

Benefits of our electronic point of sale (EPOS or POS) system include: 

  • Real-time business insights that give you a better view of your business
  • Detailed reports on cash flow, profit margins, and overheads
  • Automated stock updates so you never run out of your customers’ favourites

If you’re interested in finding out more about Epos Now, get in touch with our team below.

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