Preventing Burnout with Employee Resource Planning [Infographic]
Employee burnout is tough on everyone!
When your employees experience burnout not only does it affect them, but it affects their teams who then need to pick up the slack. Which can in turn create a cycle of workplace burnout.
It also affects your organization, which can start to experience higher company-wide employee turnover and lower engagement. And last but not least it affects the team's PM, who needs to schedule their way out of all the snafus that burnout creates.
If you're a PM, you effectively dictate the schedules of your employees. Meaning you play a large role on your human resources' mental wellbeing.
And while burning out at your job can be brought on by numerous factors (including many you can't control) there are still few things that you can do. And using employee resource planning might be the answer you're looking for.
The first step is knowledge.Here we'll point to some of the common signs employee. As well as a handy infographic on the type of team members who may experience it. Once you learn the reasons behind the problem, and you can start to notice the tendencies in your team. That way you can properly address and manage the burnout.
What is Employee Burnout?Employee burnout is when a person experiences emotional, mental, and even physical exhaustion due to work conditions. Defining exactly how it looks is difficult, as it manifests differently for everybody. Although, employee burnout usually strikes after periods of prolonged stress.
According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 23% of full time employees have reported feeling burnt out at work often or always. With another 44% admitted to feeling burnt out sometimes.
Everyone wants the best out of their employees, and limiting burnout is a great tactic for this.
What are Some Signs of Employee Burnout?
When your human resources start to get burned out, you may notice some of these signs:
- Irritability and frustration
- Indifference to work
- Anger and engaging in arguments
What Industries are Prone to Burnout?Employee burnout can appear in any job and in any industry. Although not surprisingly, the higher the job stress, the more likely burnout may manifest. The following industries are at a higher risk:
- Healthcare - both doctors and nurses are high on the list for burning out, due to the long shifts, patient care, and administrative tasks.
- Social work - when professional life mixes with personal life you create a recipe for burning out quickly.
- Education - both teachers and school principals contribute to this problem. Issues with working conditions, technology, and limited resources all play a part here.
- Technology - don't let the office nap rooms and job perks fool you. High stress and tight deadlines can lead to IT professionals burning out a rapid speed
What Causes Employee Burnout?The biggest contributor to burnout is stress. But what causes stress?
According to the pie chart below, stress is brought on by an uneven workload (46%), human resource management issues (28%), work/life balance (20%), and uncertainty about job security (6%).
What Type of Employee Experiences Burnout?
According to a study published by BMC Public Health, there are three types of people that burn out:
- First is the frenetic employee. This type of employee is driven by efficiency. This leads them to burn out because they are just too overwhelmed with their tasks. They are the people that you would call workaholics - those work and work until they exhaust their energy.
- The second is the under-challenged employee. There’s no mystery behind why they’ll burn out - their job just doesn’t have enough challenging aspects for them. Being bored can be just as stressful as overworking.
- The third is the worn-out employee. The worn-out type just feels neglected and under appreciated. They feel like they don’t have a grip on what’s going on and that’s what’s going to push them towards the burnout.
Now that you can recognize the signs of burnout and what type of employee it is most likely to manifest in, you're on your way to quashing it in your team for good. Below we'll give you some tips on how employee resource planning can help prevent it from showing up in the first place.
How Employee Resource Planning Prevents Employee Burnout
Burnout is not inevitable. And in fact there are some surefire ways to put a stop to the cycle for your staff. Here's 5 ways to prevent your employees from burning out using the magic of resource planning software.
1. MAKE A SCHEDULE THAT’S FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ALLOW BREAKS
"All work and no play" usually leads to bad results. And human resource managers need to keep this in mind.
To mitigate that, favor scheduling longer tasks to the really short ones. For example, if you have multiple tasks that have to be done by Friday, schedule them as week-long concurrent tasks instead of trying to divide them between the days. That way the person can choose when they are working on which task. And can take breaks when needed.
In addition to making a flexible schedule, encourage your team to take breaks. About a half of the employees in the US feel like they don’t have enough time to take breaks. And this has only been exasperated by the current trend of people working from home.
Having lunch while answering emails is not good practice. Neither is postponing a vacation due to the amount of work on your plate. Having too much stuff to do will translate into stress and that stress will translate to bad results.
Tip: Flexibility is the future of work. That's why many companies are adopting a hybrid approach to the office. Read more about this latest work trend and how to implement hybrid elements into your projects, plans, and workplace.
2. KEEP THE RESOURCE UTILIZATION OPTIMAL
We don’t have those utilization percentages and capacity utilization graphs in our resource management software for nothing. They are actually pretty useful in case you are trying to plan human resources in a way that would prevent them from overworking.
After you have set your employees’ working hours, the percentage will show you the utilization of each resource in the period you have open in the Gantt chart area. If it’s over 100, make adjustments. In addition to that, you should make sure that what you think is optimal is actually optimal.
If you think a task should take X amount of time and it actually takes X+2 amounts of time, you are doing it wrong.
Luckily for you, our resource management software allows you to track the actual time spent on completing a task. You can use reports to see if you made a mistake and under- or over-estimated tasks’ length, and fix it the next time around.
And remember that overtime should be an exception, not the rule. If it your team keeps racking up the overtime, there’s some serious scheduling problems in play. Or you have a capacity problem. Either way, you're facing a problem that needs to be fixed.You can read about some more common resource utilziation mistakes you might be making. And how to effectively quash them.
Tip: In Ganttic you can enter your Used time for tasks. Add in the amount of time as well as a description, date, and user info. This can also be integrated with a time tracker of your choosing with Ganttic's API.
3. RECOGNIZE YOUR EMPLOYEES FOR THEIR EFFORTReports aren't only for reporting project progress to the upper management. Reports are also good for noticing the busiest bees in the team. Establish an employee recognition program. Encourage peer recognition. Celebrate even the smallest victories.
Recognizing those that deserve to be recognized boosts productivity. And is a fire extinguisher for those that tend to burn out because they feel under appreciated. So if you want less tension in the office, fewer errors, and better customer service together with lower staff turnover, you need to recognize those that make the plans you make into reality one task at the time.
4. Limit Multitasking
Unless you're an expert juggler, multitasking is hard. It's hard enough to concentrate on one task a lot of the time. So it's only logical that multiple tasks are just about impossible.When your team has to multitask they use a lot more brainpower. That equals a workforce that's more exhausted mentally (and sometimes physically). And that's a one way ticket to burnout. So whenever necessary, try not to encourage your team to engage in this practice too much.
And if you do, follow some of our tips on how to make multitasking work.
5. SCHEDULE CHALLENGING TASKS
Not only should you schedule the optimal amount of tasks, you should schedule tasks that are challenging. But just enough. As such, finding the right task and resource match is kind of essential.
When employees have more challenging tasks they feel more productive. Productivity feeds into positivity. And soon you have a bustling workplace full of happier, more efficient employees. Sounds perfect, right?Of course this can be challenging if many of your tasks are repetitive. But this is where a good human resource manager comes in. See who's been working on what and change it up! Don't keep giving the same task to the same teammate if you can help it. Scheduling recurring tasks can be tempting, since they may make your job easier, but it might not always work to your benefit. Especially if it starts contributing to more employee burnout.
Tip: Custom data fields are your best friends when looking to pair the right resource with the right task. Once you add specific and meaningful information to your resources, you can then filter and group according to these data fields.
Meaning if you have a project that requires a Spanish speaker or someone who has a knowledge of medieval roofs in England, you don't have to guess. Nor do you have to waste time finding that info out. See more about using these data fields in conjunction with Views to better manage your workforce.
Help Your Team Burn Brighter, Not Burn Out
When you're managing a team, it's your duty to keep employee morale and wellbeing in mind. Doing so will not only makes the workplace more pleasant and productive, but it will help reduce turnover and ensure that you have happier, healthier human resources. Preventing burnout is an important step in this process. So is better resource management.