Entrepreneurs are a hard-working bunch. But while you may have no qualms about putting in countless hours at the office, your employees may not feel the same way. In fact, they may be suffering from a case of burnout. Burnout can cause your business to plummet at the most crucial of times, which is why it’s important to curb burnout early, before it starts to show.
Look for and eliminate these five conditions that most often cause employees to burn out:
1. Working without a mission.
This is the leading cause of employee burnout, according to Eric Chester, author of On Fire at Work. “If you’re running a marathon, you get tired, but if you know there’s something waiting for you at the finish line, you keep running," he says. "If you don’t know where you’re going and you just run, you might only run two miles and burn out because there’s no clear definitive goal.”
Giving employees a mission lets them know where the finish line is and gives them the ability to focus on something exciting. “Burnout is the opposite of exciting,” says Chester.
2. Setting impossible standards.
Setting goals that are too lofty is a surefire way to cause burnout. If the amount of time given to complete a task is insufficient to do the task properly, employees will be expending a lot of time and effort and never quite feel successful. This just puts them on a downward spiral towards early burnout.
3. Unclear requirements.
When employees don’t know how to succeed, it’s difficult for them to not only do their jobs, but to enjoy their work and feel like they’re doing a good job. Make sure you provide a clear job description and that requirements for success are kept up to date.
4. Not giving enough recognition.
Everyone wants to be rewarded for a job well done, but recognition doesn’t only come from getting a raise or promotion. Studies show that millennial employees, for example, are more motivated by meaningful work than a paycheck. Waiting for an employee’s annual review to tell him about the contributions he's made to the company is too late. Simply giving an “Atta Boy” when an employee does something great can go a long way towards making employees feel valued.
5. Lack of down time.
We all need time to recover, but in today’s fast-paced world, people are working harder and longer. Businesses, trying to keep ahead of their competition, are requiring more of their employees, trying to get more out of their workers. This leaves little time for downtime. Encouraging employees to take regular breaks and providing downtime during off-peak times is important to ensure your workforce has an opportunity to refresh and rejuvenate.