Employees have reported high levels of burnout since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent research reports that today’s tight labor market may be exacerbating the already existing problem.
With several economists predicting a recession, rumors about hiring freezes and layoffs are amuck, indicating that hiring more talent to ease workloads may not be an option for some companies. In such troubling times, what can HR do to fight employee burnout and ensure the smooth functioning of tightly strapped organizations?
Let’s take a look.
Listen to your workers
HR pros may be well aware of the broad challenges that staffing shortages create at work, but they still largely remain deaf to the impacts such shortages have on their employees and the problems they face.
Employees raise concerns that they’re spread too thin at work or are overturned with tasks unable to focus. Some also feel strongly about not being compensated fairly despite putting in extra hours at work. This results in a tremendous amount of stress that often extends beyond the workplace resulting in employee burnout.
Addressing this problem and ensuring employees feel heard means not only soliciting feedback but also acting on it. Research indicates that employers that regularly accept and act on employee feedback are 11 times more likely to have high retention compared to employers that do not.
Acknowledge challenges fairly
As employers respond to and act on employee feedback, it’s crucial to do so transparently. Acknowledging labor and economic market conditions, explaining an employer’s decisions, and answering questions can go a long way in addressing any negative feelings from employees.
HR pros and employers need to explain to their employees the reasons for implementing new business policies so that the decisions employers take make sense to their workforce. This not only gives the employee more faith in the organization but it can also result in them choosing to stay with the company despite the odds.
While employers may not be able to fulfill all employee requests HR can work to prioritize solutions that balance workers’ needs with those of the company.
Personalization is critical in implementing benefits and initiatives across the organization. A culture that ensures workers take time off can help employees to turn off work mode when they are relaxing. Low- or no-cost mental health benefits help employees to learn to manage their finances or personal problems better. Adopting a four-day workweek or hybrid work options may be preferable for those with caregiving duties or who cannot afford childcare.
If HR pros can ascertain the problems of their employees, address them transparently, and provide personalized solutions, employers may find themselves able to weather whatever economic forces are on the horizon with the support of a strong workforce.