Ways to Minimizing Work Burnout at Your Office?

Burnouts are an increasing threat to an organization's overall productivity as it not only hurts an employee’s wellness but also hinders their productivity and performance at the workplace. So, it is in an organization’s best interest to minimize the risk of burnouts in their employees. To minimize them, here are some steps that can be taken to leverage technology and best practices so as to help alleviate the risk of burnouts. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a UN agency whose entire purpose is to improve health around the world. This agency tracks health statistics, monitors trends, sets research agendas, sets health norms and standards, provides support, and serves as a catalyst of change. As a leader in this area, what WHO says makes an impact in health priorities around the world.

Recently, WHO published the 11th version of their International Classification of Diseases. In this version, WHO updated their definition of burnout. While burnout was included in previous versions, the new definition is much more specific. The organization classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon and defined it as a factor that influences people’s health and use of health services. Burnouts are caused by chronic workplace stress that is made up of three dimensions:

·         Feelings of exhaustion
·         Cynicism or feeling disconnected from the job
·         Feeling less effective at work

With this specific definition of burnout, WHO is calling on medical professionals to consider burnout as a cause of physical symptoms of stress with patients. It is also researching a guideline so as to help organizations keep burnouts to a minimum amongst their employees.

However, there are steps that can be taken today, leveraging technology and best practices, to help alleviate the risk of burnouts. It not only hurts an employee’s wellness but hinders their productivity and performance at the workplace, causing detriment of business. Thus, it is in an organization’s best interest to minimize the risk of burnouts in their employees.

Finding the Right Fit
Poor fit to a job or a company culture can be one of the largest stressors in the workplace. Research shows that employees, who are a good fit, are more satisfied with their jobs, more committed, and more likely to stay. Luckily, finding the right fit is an achievable goal for employees and organizations alike.

Assessing whether fit for a job or company typically occurs during the hiring process. Requiring applicants to complete an assessment can help organizations focus on candidates that are good behavioral fits for the role. Hiring individuals with the best fit leads to lower turnover and better productivity for companies. This should be enough to make companies care about being the right fit before they even consider employee wellness or burnout!  

Individuals can also take control of their wellness and happiness at work by evaluating how well an organization aligns with their values and needs. Prior to applying to a job, individuals should evaluate what they are looking for in their ideal workplace. Then, during the interview process, candidates can ask questions to understand how well the organization matches this ideal. If possible, candidates should also have the opportunity to self-select out of the process from jobs and companies that are not good fits for their goals.

While it seems straightforward, having good technology in place to evaluate whether fit or not can streamline the hiring process. Making the process efficient ensures talent acquisition specialists do not skip this crucial step in selecting the right employees. Everyone benefits when there is a good fit. We have all heard of the happy, productive employee. Finding them from the start is an effective business strategy, both for performance and for well-being.

Building the Right Culture
Work does not stop when an organization hires employees that are a good fit. Creating a positive work environment is critical to keeping those ‘good fit’ employees happy over the course of their tenure. Technology can also help support the right culture! For example, we know that flexibility, the ability to disconnect, and good leadership influence the employee experience. If a job is mostly knowledge-based, companies can allow employees to work from home. Today, many jobs can be done on a computer, which allows for endless flexibility to help employees balance work and life.

On the other hand, technology makes it easy to stay connected to work at all hours of the day. However, we know it is important for employees to fully disconnect from work to ‘recharge’ and rest to avoid burnout. Technology can save us from technology too! There are apps and programs that ‘force’ employees to disconnect. Basically, they block emails from being delivered to employees at night or on vacation so there is no temptation to work when they should be off the clock. Using these types of tools not only encourages employees to disconnect but sends a clear message that the organization values employee well-being and balance too. These types of tools can help employees feel valued, build the right culture, and help prevent the possibility of a  burnout.

Minimizing Burnouts
WHO’s recent update to burnout’s definition reinvigorates the conversation on how to minimize this type of chronic stress. It is exciting to see this focus on such a public and global scale. Luckily, there are a number of research-based and technology-enabled best practices available to organizations today to help minimize the risk of burnouts. Finding employees that are a good fit and supporting a positive work environment are great first steps to make an impact on reducing employee burnouts.  


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