Burnout is a hot topic these days – and it’s impacting professional women disproportionately. 42% of women and 35% of men in corporate America have felt burned out in the last few months (up from 32% and 28% respectively last year). One of three women surveyed even said they have considered reducing their workload or leaving the workforce altogether. (Last year, it was one in four.) These grim numbers show the need to fight burnout and help manage stress before it results in physical and mental problems.
According to BizWomen, “Women have been plagued by burnout, but they’re uncomfortable approaching supervisors about it; similarly, they’re less likely than men to ask for more time on projects, resulting in even more stress and burnout.”
The stats show that women need more support in the workplace and helpful resources to fight stress that leads to burnout. This means that managers should be open to providing this support to their teams and companies should participate in wellness programs that actively support a healthy work-life balance for employees. According to LeanIn, when managers take action to promote employee well-being and companies prioritize DEI, employees are happier, less burned out, and less likely to consider leaving their company.
5 Actions Companies Can Take to Fight Burnout
Here are some ways to encourage healthy habits and help women (and, ultimately, all employees) fight burnout at the workplace.
1. Reward and recognize
Everyone wants to feel appreciated at work, especially when they are working hard and doing their best. It’s important to show women employees appreciation for their work and recognize them when it’s deserved. One survey found that for every 100 men getting their first promotion, just 72 women are promoted. This needs to change.
Women employees feel left out and unsupported, especially when their male counterparts are getting ahead of them – even at the same level. This pressure and stress can unequivocally lead to burnout – and managers need to focus on inclusivity and showing appreciation when necessary.
2. Make flexibility a norm
According to a recent Gallup poll, the number one thing women are looking for in a new job is a role that “allows for greater work-life balance and better personal wellbeing.” Enabling working moms and women with busy lives the flexibility to work at home or choose their hours will be extremely helpful. Flexible options will help improve productivity and reduce stress for working women in the long run.
3. Build an inclusive culture
No woman wants to be excluded from meetings, experience harassment, and have limited opportunities for growth. Inclusivity with women is an important topic to address. Companies need to make sure that women have equal access as their male counterparts when it comes to their careers.
Women who feel like their work environment is inclusive, supports them and provides the training and programs that focus on their career growth will feel more motivated and trust their employers.
4. Focus on employee wellness
As mentioned, employee wellness is extremely important in an organization. No employee wants to work at a company where they feel like their physical and mental health is suffering because of their challenging work. Establish programs that focus on overall wellness and continue to encourage a healthy work-life balance, so people don’t feel the need to have to forgo vacation or personal time off.
Programs such as fitness challenges, mental health awareness, and other company-wide initiatives will go a long way in helping reduce stress and avoid burnout among employees.
5. Be supportive
At the end of the day, you want your employee to be able to trust the company. This trust is built with open communication among managers and their team, with each team member feeling like they can ask for help when needed. As a manager you need to support your teammates and check in on them periodically, especially if you notice signs of burnout and fatigue.
Keeping track of their workload and recognizing their successes will also show you appreciate them. Additionally, checking in with their work schedules and task load will help you understand if someone is struggling with their projects and tasks and allow you to offer help to make the task more manageable.
Proactively providing support and finding ways to manage workload will help in creating a positive and healthy work environment. This in turn benefits the team and company because employees will feel more content, motivated and less likely to leave.
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