3 ways to reduce employee burnout in 2021. How to spot the symptoms of employee burnout and minimize its impact on your business.

An alarming 76 percent of U.S. employees are currently experiencing burnout, according to new research by Spring Health. 

“The events of 2020 put a tremendous amount of pressure on U.S. employees — especially those who are raising children or taking care of elderly loved ones,” said Dr. Millard Brown, senior vice president of Medical Affairs at Spring Health. “Burnout is extremely costly for organizations, so it’s imperative that leaders take steps now to reduce and manage burnout symptoms for their workforce.”

Employers can minimize the impact of employee burnout by spotting symptoms early and making changes in workplace culture or employee benefits offerings.

3 Ways to Reduce Employee Burnout in 2021

Spotting the Symptoms of Employee Burnout

The first step to reducing employee burnout is spotting the primary symptoms including exhaustion, feeling negative, cynical or detached from work, reduced productivity and poor work performance. Employee burnout is often reached after an extended period of high stress.

“Employee burnout can present on a spectrum,” said Dr. Brown. “At its earliest stages, burnout can be mobilized more easily. Whether it’s offering more flexible work schedules for caretakers or rebalancing workloads that have been skewed by layoffs, employers have a lot of opportunities to support their team members without sacrificing larger organizational goals. Once an employee reaches the complete burnout stage, though, recovery can become a challenging and long-term process that significantly disrupts both the employee’s life and the organization’s efficacy.”

Making Changes to Workplace Culture to Reduce Employee Burnout

Almost a third of employees experiencing burnout say that increased responsibilities at work contributed to their burnout and that reducing the number of hours spent working would help them reduce or avoid burnout altogether. Over 25 percent of employees say having a supportive and understanding manager at work would also help them to reduce and avoid burnout. 

Training supervisors to lead with empathy, spot the signs of burnout and respond effectively by supporting the employee and working to find reasonable solutions can make a huge impact in reducing employee burnout.

Making Changes to Employee Benefits to Reduce Employee Burnout

Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. employees believe that better mental health-related policies at work would help them avoid or reduce burnout. Mental health benefits can help employees reduce stress and build emotional resiliency that can help them through times of crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic uncertainty that followed.

Another 30 percent of workers said receiving more paid time off from their employer would assist them in avoiding or reducing burnout. Paid time off allows employees to take time off when they need it, for whatever reason, and being able to split paid time off between vacation days, sick time and mental health days could help employees reduce and avoid burnout.

Employers who want to reduce the negative impact of employee burnout and get back to the business at hand should train supervisors to spot the symptoms and react accordingly by reassessing workloads and looking to changes to office culture or benefits offerings that could be advantageous.

More on Topics Related to Employee Health and Wellness 

Why Financial Wellness Is Important to Employees in 2021

Top HR Challenges in 2021 and How to Overcome Them

Managing Employee Healthcare Costs in 2021

How to Build Remote Work Culture to Support Virtual Teams

HR Trends 2021: Which Benefits Do Employees Value Most?