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Beating burnout: The key is managing absence

6 March 2023 5 min read

burnout risk

It may have been around for a long time, but burnout is certainly a hot topic right now. Thanks to its prevalence, largely brought about by the blurring of work and home life during the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more employers are looking for ways to keep burnout at bay. Especially considering 70% of surveyed people feel their employers aren’t doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout currently.

So how do we address the problem? The key is managing absence effectively.

Create a positive and progressive environment

Workplace culture is now more important than ever, with 66% of job seekers considering a company’s culture and values the most important factor when considering career opportunities.

It’s not only important in terms of recruiting and retaining the top talent though. Employee engagement is vital for creating a sustainable business, as disengaged employees are far more at risk of increased time off work and eventual absenteeism.

If the culture of your business is one where people feel overworked, or lacking in opportunities for progression, it likely won’t be long before they’re either struggling with their wellbeing, or looking for a new position elsewhere.

To stave off burnout and disengagement, you might want to consider the overall culture of a business and its approach to opportunities. Think of positive things your company offers employees and consider implementing a strategy for more clear cut progression paths.

absence caused by burnout

Check in with your employees

Communication is a powerful tool, and sometimes all it takes is a conversation to resolve any number of workplace issues. While it’s important to create an environment where employees feel comfortable to share, they may still be slow to come forward if they feel like they’re struggling with their current workload, or their work-life balance.

Implementing best practices to ensure that managers have regular catch-ups with employees, not only helps them to keep up with how they’re doing at work, but also how they’re doing in general.

In larger or disjointed teams though, it can be harder to spot those who are struggling, or who are either taking more time off sick, or not enough time off as holiday.

An absence management system like edays can help to empower you to have better visibility of your staff and their wellbeing. You can set up smart alerts to notify you if an employee is taking more sick leave than usual (a common sign of burnout), which provides you with actionable data to then have meaningful chats to employees about their wellbeing.

Encourage time off

Time off to relax and rejuvenate is key in keeping burnout at bay. However, some employees can be slow to take their annual leave entitlement, or to ask for time off when they need it. It’s important that culture around absence and leave is deep rooted in your business, to ensure that everyone from directors to people managers are singing from the same hymn sheet and promoting better wellbeing practises.

Resources are often a challenge for businesses, which can lead some to allow untaken annual leave to go unnoticed or unaddressed. But even if resource shortage seems to be present a challenge in the short term, it’s worth noting that the risk on the flip side is long-term unplanned absence if employees become burnt out. It’s therefore far better to encourage short-term planned absence in the present.

The edays platform makes it easier to manage absence and leave, with full visibility of remaining balances, entitlements and group calendars. You can set up trigger alerts and minimum staffing levels too, to ensure that resources are managed effectively at the same time.

burnout risk

Offer enhanced flexibility

There are a number of reasons that employees may end up feeling burnt out, but a work-life imbalance is certainly up there. With women reportedly more likely to suffer than men, and working parents suffering at a higher rate, it makes sense to deduce that the stresses of having children and managing a house can contribute to the balance between home life and work life feeling off kilter.

As an employer, there’s naturally not a lot you can do to alleviate any stresses caused from outside the workplace. However, you can help your team to rebalance the scales and reduce the risk of burnout.

By offering enhanced flexibility at work, employees can hopefully start to achieve more work-life balance, and therefore feel happier and more comfortable at work. This not only makes sense for employee wellness, but also for productivity and motivation, which is of course better for the company as a whole too.

If you’d like to learn more about how edays can help you to reduce burnout and improve employee wellbeing, book a demo. Or to learn more about reducing burnout in your organisation, download our free eBook.

Jenni author blog
March 6, 2023

Jenni Littlehales is a marketing professional and an experienced author with a background in a wide variety of industries. Her understanding of people, wellbeing and associated challenges give a unique perspective in the evolving landscape of HR and technology.