These days you can’t turn around without reading a new study on stress, or how to beat it. Alongside this, there’s almost as much emphasis put on getting enough sleep - but it seems all the information in the world isn’t helping workers reduce their stress and up their sleep.
A study from Germany has shown that 80% of people say their stress levels have gone up, while 77% reported increased workloads and 69% complain of sleeping disorders. Add up the results and the risk factors and the FIT Reisen study finds that almost two in three (62%) of workers are at risk of burnout.
See also: Employee burnout: it's back
So how can you help protect your staff? Here are some tips from our experts:
Doctors talk about the “Three R” approach to burnout:
- Recognize – Watch for the warning signs of burnout
- Reverse – Undo the damage by managing stress and seeking support
- Resilience – Build resilience to stress by taking care of physical and emotional health
HR can help with all these steps by:
Watch for behavioural changes such as being less involved in group discussions or activities, turning in work that is below previous standards, or taking frustrations out on others. Burnout is related to stress, so consider signs of extra stress to be warning signals.
Make sure your employee knows support is available. If your benefits plan includes coverage for counselling or therapy, suggest they make use of it. Help them make a plan for managing their workload, and talk to their managers about making sure there is support within their team as well.
Physical and emotional health play a big role in long term mental health. Taking vacations, not working excessive overtime and taking part in recreational activities are all related to a healthy work/life balance. Make sure your staff are taking steps to stress less, and offer them the tools they need to do so. Consider introducing meditation classes or other programs to help workers manage stress.
See also: Lose-lose: unused vacation days cost everyone