How to Prevent Employee Burnout - Part One

Picture of Donna Cutting holding her 3 books

This week's question is: How do we boost morale and prevent employee burnout when everyone is stretched so thin? This is a question I'm going to address in two parts. 

Next week we'll talk about the "fun" morale-boosting and stress-relieving ideas. However, this week, I want to get to the heart of the matter - the source of the stress. The "stretched too thin" part. Because you and I both know, it's not sustainable, and there's no quick-fix morale booster that's going to prevent burnout if that's not addressed. 

What needs to happen? You've got to manage those workloads. It's the only sustainable way. 

Your first step is to explore solutions WITH your team. Pull together a group of leaders and team members - the ones impacted - and set the goal that you're going to work together to find ways to reduce the work load while still providing excellent service.

Here are a few ideas to explore: 

1. What can be cut from the workload?

2. Could we do a better job of prioritizing the work?

3. What boundaries can we set?

4. How can we overhaul the process? For instance, are there self-service options? Could we use technology?

5. Are there new positions that would assist? 

6. Could we use agency, temps, or independent contractors - or part-timers - as "floaters" only to alleviate some of the workload? 

7. Would new schedules help? 30 hours a week? A 4-day work week? 

8. Could we teach people to work more efficiently? 

9. Also - are we putting the systems into place to prevent staff turnover - or are we focused on quick-fixes for that issue as well?

Next week, we'll discuss morale-boosting ideas and short-term solutions. However, if you want a sustainable solution you've got to go right to the heart of the matter and address those workloads. 

Donna Cutting is the author of 3 books including Employees First! Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the HEART of Your Organization. (Career Press, 2022) 

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