When organizations don’t focus on wellbeing, they’ll often see that their employees are exhibiting signs of burnout. Here are few tips for preventing it.
Employee burnout is like an ebbing fire, according to Jodi Whiteman, codirector of professional development and workforce innovations at Zero to Three.
“We all come usually to our jobs with this intense feeling of excitement,” she said. “You’re kind of on fire—you want to dive in, you’re interested in the projects. But then if you don’t fuel that fire with oxygen—and all the things that a fire needs to keep burning—you have this depletion, and then the fire will eventually burn out.”
So, how can associations prevent employee burnout? The first step is to create an organizational culture that encourages their wellbeing.
“You have to think about [employee wellbeing] in terms of creating a culture—and making the commitment really at all levels, from senior management all the way down,” she said.
Whiteman offered up these other foundational tips:
Remind your employees of the organization’s vision. Whiteman highlights the importance of “involving your employees in understanding your mission, your goals, your strategy, so that everyone feels like they’re working together for the best of that organization or company.”
And there are different ways that associations can do this: For instance, during meetings with your direct reports and other team members, remind them how the work they are doing ties into your organization’s overall mission. This will allow them to see the bigger picture and understand how their day-to-day work is making a difference for members and others.
Keep regular meetings on the calendar. When things get busy and to-do lists get long, it’s easy to think that team meetings and supervisor-supervisee check-ins are optional. But that’s not the case. “When you miss a meeting because you’re busy and you don’t make it up, you’re more prone to miss it again and again and again—and that really disconnects you from your employees and your team,” Whiteman said.
Those meetings are the times when supervisors can ask questions, such as: “How do you feel about this work? What’s working for you? What isn’t working for you?” Time for these types of questions communicates care and concern—and can keep employees motivated and happy during busy seasons.
What’s the ultimate goal in establishing a culture where employee wellbeing is valued? “Happiness!” Whiteman said, adding that the byproducts are decreased turnover and increased productivity.
How does your association work to create a culture where employee wellbeing is valued? Please leave your comments below.