More than a year after the start of the pandemic, the nation is overjoyed to see a return to normalcy and social interactions. However, employers are finding more and more employees suffering from burnout than ever and the costs may be high.
Front-line and essential workers were hit hard over the last year, working increased hours in stressful situations while the rest of the world seemed to watch from the safety of home. Now that the dust has settled, exhaustion and stress are catching up.
Many healthcare workers are shifting career paths, opting to leave the hospital environment for lower-stress positions in outpatient and family practice locations. Teachers are another group of essential workers leaving their profession to spend more time at home or for higher-paying positions. The same can be said for retail and hospitality workers, with open positions at an all-time high after workers suffered shutdowns and safety concerns when asked to return to work.
Office-based workers that transitioned to working from home during the pandemic are also experiencing increased fatigue and burnout after a year of uncertainty, blurred lines between work and home, and social isolation. Finally settled in at home, being asked to come back to the office is met with a mixture of emotions.
Signs of burnout include fatigue, increased absences, decreased productivity, poor performance, and diminished work relationships. Take a moment to check in with your team to see if you recognize any of these symptoms.
Creating a burnout relief plan will help to support your employees and keep top talent. Whether you choose to approach an employee, or one reaches out to you for help, here are some options you may consider offering:
- Taking unused PTO
- Unpaid leave during slower times of business
- Reduced hours or part-time positions
- No meeting days, or email free hours
- Employee assistance programs
As an employer, learning to recognize the signs of burnout and having relief programs in place can help retain valuable employees and keep your business operational.