What can employers do to support staff wellbeing or reduce burnout?

By March 31, 2021 Stories

Research from the University Of East Anglia revealed that feeling supported at work can help prevent emotional exhaustion and create happiness, building resilience, which in turn produces higher productivity rates. So ultimately, everybody wins!

What do we mean by wellbeing?

Wellbeing is defined as an individual’s state of mental, physical and general health. There are many factors that may negatively affect employee wellbeing, and employers need to be aware of these.

How can employers help?

Professor Argyro Avgoustaki from ESCP Business School recently said: “Individuals who work extensively or intensively, experience negative wellbeing outcomes such as stress, fatigue, burnout, exhaustion, illness, and reduced satisfaction.”

This echoes our recent blog that working overtime actually reduces the amount of time an employee has available to take rest and recover, while work intensity reduces opportunities for recovery during the working day.

“Lack of recovery accumulates over time and ultimately decreases an employee’s ability to perform at adequate levels and deliver quality work. Tired employees are less alert and more prone to making mistakes” added Avgoustaki.

But a lot of people are aware of the detrimental effects overworking can have on them but they keep doing it. This is usually down to thinking that working excessively provides better chances at career advancement, can help gain social recognition and praise, and will ultimately mean avoiding losing their job.

To prevent this, managers and business leaders need to lead by example. People in these positions should encourage environments in which excessive work is not a norm but only used by exception in very busy periods. But if this starts to become a regular occurrence, it could be time to start looking at hiring additional staff to ensure the workload can be effectively managed by all. 

“Managers need to provide some discretion over how and when work should be done as well as creating meaningful work experiences will help employee well-being. This way, at times when employees have to work harder, their well-being, and in turn productivity, will be better preserved” says Avgoustaki

Some key things which employers can consider doing to support staff wellbeing and reduce overworking and feelings of burnout are: 

  • Provide clear, realistic expectations and make sure those expectations are understood
  • Ensure employees have the resources they need
  • Offer ongoing training
  • Show employees their value and contributions to the organization’s goals
  • Enforce reasonable work hours, including encouraging breaks
  • Help assess workloads for those who may feel pressured to work beyond normal business hours
  • Encourage social support and respect among team members through video chats

What do we do here at KC Communications?

Here at KC Communications, wellbeing is a huge part of our agency identity. We’re proud to have previously won the Yorkshire and Humber region Chamber award for our approach to Workplace Wellbeing. 

Not only does each employee have their own ‘best you’ budget to be used on any resources that would help them be their best self but we also hold bi-weekly wellbeing meetings with our in house wellbeing team.

Managing workload and meetings is key to avoiding burnout. At KC, we’ve adapted our weekly team meetings to give better clarity as to upcoming workloads and allow team members to plan their time effectively. And while we’re working remotely, we’re we encourage gaps between meetings to allow a chance to play over what has been discussed and note down actions like we would if we were travelling to and from meeting destinations.

We’ve also introduced time planning training and support for staff to enhance productivity, efficiency and minimise any feelings of overwhelm in regards to workload.  

The team has also benefited from time off for mental health and wellbeing focused awareness days as well as team workshops to help promote a healthy work-life balance. All employees benefit from health insurance which provides access to mental health apps for mindfulness and meditation along with the opportunity to benefit from talking therapies where professional support might be needed. 

On the softer side, we also share motivational quotes every Monday to start the week in the right frame of mind and wellbeing focused resources are issued to the team every Wednesday so it’s always on our radar. 

For more wellbeing focused content, please visit our blog: https://www.kccomms.co.uk/blog/