Avoiding Employee Burnout Takes Top-Down Encouragement

  1. Closing the whole company: Since “work FOMO” makes taking time off more stressful than relaxing, many companies have responded by closing down entirely and giving everyone the same week off. That’s not practical for every business, but some have found they can shut down on a smaller but still effective basis — every Friday for the summer, extending long holiday weekends, or on a team or department basis.
  2. Formally encourage taking vacation time: Do you know how much, or little, of their paid time off your employees have used? Most companies track this in some fashion, but it’s how you use the data that can help. Managers should notice when it’s been too long since an employee took time off and find out why. If someone is saving three weeks for their family reunion or to hike the Alps, great. If it’s because they feel “too busy to get away,” have a conversation. Make taking time off and caring for yourself part of any annual performance discussion. Setting the expectation that you want them to take time off can make a difference.
  3. Plan how to get things done when people are out: Managers should help their direct reports to ensure coverage or reassignment of deliverables when they will be away. Redundancy and backup plans are sensible for many reasons, and this is one of them. Set the expectation that part of everyone’s job is to back up their coworkers. Develop a framework or guidelines for arranging for vacation coverage. Don’t leave it up to the individual. This may sound like micromanaging every day off, but it’s really about supporting longer periods away (meaning a week or more).
  4. Model the behavior: If you’re not taking time off, what kind of message is that sending to your employees? If you send emails while you’re on vacation, what does that say? I understand that sometimes there is no back up to the CEO, but still, we can probably all do better at this. “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t help, especially if you are in management. If you want your employees to care about their health and wellness, you need to do the same. And you deserve it, too!

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ATR International

ATR International

Award Winning Minority-Owned National Staffing Provider Specializing in Contract & Contract to Direct Positions.