BID® Daily Newsletter
Oct 14, 2021

BID® Daily Newsletter

Oct 14, 2021

Five Ways To Prevent Employee Burnout

Summary: 89% of full-time employees have reportedly experienced burnout since the start of the pandemic. Community financial institutions have a pressing responsibility to uncover the root causes behind their employees’ stress and anxiety and help reduce burnout. We discuss the continuing effects of the pandemic on labor and provide solutions for employee retention.

Did you know that sleeping while at work is culturally acceptable in Japan? Inemuri — which means to be present while sleeping — has been practiced in Japan for over 1,000 Ys and is often regarded as a sign of an employee’s diligence and dedication.
Of course, sleeping on the job is a big “no-no” for American employees. But, with the pandemic fundamentally changing the ways in which we do our jobs, could Inemuri happen here too? While we don’t know the answer to that question, we can review the effects of these changes and outline tips to help your employees successfully manage through them.
Unemployment, resignations, and remote work

The economic effects of the pandemic led millions to leave the American workforce. Then, increased redundancies, hiring freezes, resignations, and higher-than-usual retirement levels adversely impacted those still in work. In fact, a recent Adobe survey has shown that 49% of those still working are now spending more time on the job than before the pandemic (an average of 44.9 hours per week).
Meanwhile, remote working is making it harder to separate professional and personal lives. Indeed, the pressure to be available at all times, while juggling things, like childcare and household duties, is resulting in increased levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout.
A recent Visier study concluded that a resounding 89% of full-time American employees have experienced burnout during the pandemic — and that the majority would change jobs if a different organization provided more “burnout support” and resources.
What can community financial institutions do to reduce employee burnout?
  1. Stress factors. Although managers may be aware of the increased levels of stress and burnout within their teams, do they understand the specific contributing factors? Providing the necessary support starts with recognizing the root problem(s). Conducting regular employee “pulse surveys” will help uncover these and guide the decision-making of a community financial institution (CFI). However, it’s important to remember that these are complex problems, particularly given the disproportionate effects on different employee groups, and there’s unlikely to be a one-size-fits-all solution. 
  2. Work-home boundaries. Find solutions to help employees better manage the boundaries between their work and home lives. Crucially, CFIs should be actively discouraging around-the-clock working. 
  3. Workloads. Employees’ workloads and productivity should also be reviewed and managed at regular intervals to ensure that they are reasonable and appropriate.
  4. Work schedules. Discuss work schedules to see if flexible schedules are hindering or helping. Customized flexible schedules may be beneficial for some but regular hours are better for others. Empowering employees to take control of their time by letting them help set their own schedules can alleviate some of the pressures of juggling numerous competing demands. 
  5. Not just sick days. Allow employees to use sick days for “mental health” days so they can take extra downtime when stress levels are high at home or at work. These days could also be used to care for family members.
Knowing how to take good care of your employees comes naturally. Yet, the pandemic has disrupted work and employees in fundamental ways that we are all still trying to understand. Supporting your employees during this challenging time, including these five tips, will keep them from burning out and make your institution more resilient.
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