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Fighting the Fire-Employee Burnout

Burnout- A Fire Waiting to Start

Recently, I attended the Next Gear Connect conference in New Orleans.  It was full of festivities, networking, and overall, great discussion about the future of the disaster restoration industry.  I talked with several owners there, and a few of them asked me for advice on “burnout,” specifically in reference to their employees and for themselves.  Burnout is prevalent in the restoration industry, whether it be from high demands from program work, TPAs, or unrealistic expectations from customers.  It’s safe to say burnout is a common problem in the restoration industry- but what exactly is it?

The High Cost of Burnout- What It Is, and How It Can Affect Business

Burnout is what your employees experience when they are working towards goals and objectives they don’t relate to, when they feel like they aren’t receiving proper support (whether at their job or at home), or when they feel like they aren’t in control of how a job is being carried out.  This can result in lethargy and skipped days, poor or inefficient work, and depression.

Plus, employee burnout- through lack of proper scheduling, time management, and loss of focus- can all have a large effect on your labor efficiency ratio.  Projects will stall out, customers will be unhappy, and your bottom line will essentially…well, burn out.  Harvard Business Review has found that an estimated $125 – $190 billion are lost per year in healthcare relating to physical and psychological burnout alone.

So how do you stop burnout from affecting your business and employees?

Putting the Fire Out

Here are some steps you can take to keep your employees from burning out and to keep them engaged:

  • Keep your employees’ workloads manageable, and give them time off.  Make this time sacred, and encourage them to take it.
  • Aim to offer all your employees the tools they need to complete their work.  Set the standard moving forward, starting with your new hires, and invest in the tools they need to get the job done well and effectively.
  • Be fair, and don’t pick “favorites.”  Promotions and salary increases should be based on performance, lest other top-performers become disenchanted.

For the overworking and overachieving employee that’s burned out:

  • Offer performance-based bonuses.
  • If there are no options for advancement, consider a lateral move for them.
  • Consider additional training or education for them.  Maybe send them to an industry event or webinar.
  • Give them a flexible schedule so they can pursue a higher education.

For the worn-out or underachieving employee that’s burned out:

  • Build in oversight of their work, but don’t hover over them like a hawk.
  • Build in encouragement and small, incremental, benchmark-oriented rewards along the way.
  • Reframe how you assign them workloads.  Instead of, “Do this,” tell them instead, “Start here.”  Then, once they’ve finished that, tell them, “Great job!  Now here’s the next step.”  That way, the workload seems smaller and more manageable, and they’ll see they’re actually making progress.

For the under-challenged employee that’s burned out:

  • These workers need variety and stimulation.  Redistribute work so employees share tasks with others and aren’t doing the same thing all day.  (Keep this within each employee’s position description- don’t go overboard and shuffle around everyone’s responsibilities).
  • Try challenging the employee by delegating more difficult duties to them.
  • Have them train or mentor others on the staff.

Burnout can be disastrous for you, your employees, and your company.  It’s something that affects work life, social life, and personal life- and it’s something we here at BDA don’t want you or your employees to struggle with.  To help you extinguish this fire, Business Development Associates (BDA) is offering you a FREE Gift in the form of a Profitability Assessment that is a value of $1,997. Contact me directly by email to schedule an initial discovery call to discuss your profitability.

May the Profits Be With You!

John Capponi, CR
Operations and Management Consultant • Business Development Associates, Inc. • Cell: 407-745-7698

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