When it comes to employee burnout; prevention is better than cure

 

burnout4

Employees have to be fresh in the mind, motivated and energetic if they have to be productive. Employees whose talents are recognized by the organization are more fired up about their job. They are likely to be more innovative, more creative and more loyal.

On the other hand, pressurizing the employees and stretching them beyond the point of their endurance threshold leads to burnout. In fast paced work environments in which everything needs to be accomplished at short notice under quick deadlines, employees are constantly under pressure. Employee burnout is a major issue for organizations.

When the focus is only on accomplishing the goals within the set deadline and on nothing else, all the energies that the employees expect to put on their creative fulfillment get diverted towards meeting task requirements and completing them within deadlines.

Organizations that are under pressure to have work completed from their employees, because they face stiff competition devote a lot lesser time to employee development and wellbeing than they should be doing. As a result of too much pressure all the time, employees experience and display these typical symptoms of burnout among many others:

  • Feeling edgy and tense at work
  • Getting upset at the smallest of provocations
  • Coming late to office
  • Feeling sick
  • Become more and more petulant
  • Experiencing low drive at work
  • Feeling no pride or happiness at engaging in their work

Employees facing burnout are detrimental to organizations

Employee burnout is a serious issue for organizations because they end up losing their star performers.  Highly talented workers need to be given a variety of challenging tasks from time to time; failing which they can get bored very fast and can burn out quickly.

Is there a particular class or section of the workforce that is more prone to burnouts? Statista.com found out during a survey it carried out in 2015 that the Millennials are most likely to be stressed to a point of experiencing burnout. This class of employees was followed closely by those of Gen X.

This is a serious piece of statistics for the American economy, because it is estimated that the Millennials will make up about half of the entire American workforce by 2020. When such a major emerging workforce is already feeling burnt out; it means that something needs to be done urgently about burnout at the workplace.

If this is bad news; the worse news is that while the Millennials and the Gen-Xers are the most vulnerable to employee burnout; they are by no means the only ones. Other employee groups are not far behind.

Understand the ways of dealing with employee burnout

How do organizations deal with such a major issue as employee burnout? This is the topic a highly valuable and pertinent webinar from TrainHR, a leading provider of professional trainings for the human resources industry, will be offering. Jan Triplett, who is the CEO of the internationally recognized Business Success Center and is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and small business activist, as well as a frequent keynote speaker on business growth models, funding and pricing strategies, alliance building, personnel management, and sales processes, will be the speaker at this webinar.

To benefit from the experience that Jan brings into this topic, please register for this webinar by visiting TrainHR

 

Early recognition is important

The key to dealing with employee burnout is to take recourse to the old adage, “prevention is better than cure”. It is easier and much more sensible to prevent employee burnout than to deal with it once it actually seeps in. It is thus important for everyone concerned, such as leaders, managers, HRs and others related to employee wellbeing, to recognize the signs of employee burnout early enough to spot it and take early preemptive action than to allow it to grow and become a full-blown problem that comes in the way of employees’ work life and personal lives.

Jan will highlight how to recognize the early warning signs of employee burnout. She will suggest not only how to deal with employees who are prone to burnout and the ways of dealing with it; she will also show how to see the signs in one’s own self and take remedial actions. She will cover the following areas at this webinar:

  • What research tells us about who is at risk and why
  • Creating a company Burnout Plan that includes identification, addressing burnout, and prevention procedures
  • Implementing the Plan – timeline, expected results, budget management
  • Getting “buy in” from the top to the bottom of the organization
  • Tracking and Evaluating the Plan
  • Adjusting the Plan.

 

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5 attributes for employee assistance program

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a program that an organization implements to ease some of the personal problems faced by its employees. An employee assistance program is largely voluntary, in that it is not mandatory either for organizations to implement it, or for very employee to avail it.

employee assistance program - TrainHR

According to the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, here’s what to look for:

  1. 24/7 phone response. Seek out providers that have trained counselors on duty answering a toll-free phone line at all times. Avoid EAPs that require users to navigate an elaborate phone tree before reaching a counselor.
  2. Confidential services. Licensed, professional counselors should deliver assessments and face-to-face counseling sessions in safe, private and confidential offices. Make sure there are enough counselors in your area to deliver timely services in both urgent and nonurgent cases.
  3. Referral support and follow-up. The EAP should assist employees by providing referrals for long-term or specialized care based on assessed needs, recommended treatment and employees’ financial resources. The EAP should provide follow-up and ongoing support for employees.
  4. Crisis intervention. Will EAP counselors come to your facility if there’s an emergency, such as an incident of workplace violence? Good EAPs can provide counseling for traumatized employees. They can also help management coordinate emergency-response plans.
  5. Substance abuse expertise. Given their disproportionately great impact on the workplace, drug and alcohol abuse problems often represent the bulk of EAP cases.

Preventing employees from leaving your organization

Employee poaching is a major challenge for employers who have great employees. Such employees are always a soft target for competitors who want to do better (which competitor doesn’t want to?). If the organization has talented employees, it is extremely important to keep him or her, because such an employee’s departure can hurt more than the arrival of a replacement.

Look at yourself first

The most important step an organization needs to take to keep good employees is to look at the mirror. The process of keeping good employees starts with a deep sense of introspection. If an organization is faced with a situation where it keeps losing employees like ninepins, it is time to look inwards. It has to very objectively assess why employees are leaving. If there is a systemic problem in the organization in that it has a problem of keeping talented employees, it had better correct the flaw, because it will continue to lose great employees every few months.

Be open to employee suggestions

For this to happen; the organization should be like an open door rather than like a closed window. It should not only be critical of itself; it should be very open to criticism (of the right kind, of course) from others. It should ideally consult its own employees and ask them to come out with suggestions that they think will help the organization keep its employees. This way, it not only understands employee feelings towards it; it also enhances its standing with its own employees by being consultative and transparent. A very important element it has to keep in mind is implementing the suggestions it gets from its employees. Not all suggestions can be implemented, but surely, the ones that make the most sense have to be. The organization should not forget to reward the employee who gives the best suggestion about keeping employees. It should acknowledge that the employee who gave the best suggestion is a valuable resource. The organization should make it known that it is this employee who has made the best contribution in helping it improve its bottom line by keeping its best resources.

Find that bad apple

The reason many good employees could be leaving can sometimes be because of one rotten apple. A particular manager’s team members may be leaving more frequently than others. Although most managements ensure that there is a certain level of homogeneity in going about achieving its goals; each manager is different. Each person brings in his own traits and management styles. There are the consultative managers; the authoritative ones; the team person and so on. Finally, there is the odd manager who is despised by the team members. The top management has to keep a watch on this manager and see if he is the one that needs to be shown the door, because throwing such an obstacle out could mean keeping good employees for longer durations.

Management should be very decisive when it comes to packing such a manager off. It should not be bound by emotions or feel embarrassed in taking decision of this magnitude. It should think of it as a means of helping the organization grow better by getting rid of one stumbling block.

Identify the employees

Sometimes, a few talented employees are habitual hoppers. Even if the organization does take great care of them; they are always jumpy and like to keep looking for opportunities. If the management notices that there is a steep decline in the quality of work in an otherwise high-performing employee; it has to put the scanners on. It has to start zooming in on that talented employee during such phases and understand if it is just a passing stage or a genuine desire to leave the organization that is making him perform below his best. If the likeliness of leaving is the reason; it has to sit and talk the issue clearly with such an employee. The management should try its best to see what it is that is making the talented employee think of this taking this step and address his grievances and areas of concern. If this is not done; it stands a risk of losing a good employee.

Make sure the stayers are rewarded

Most organizations do a great job at analyzing and resolving the problem, but are poor at follow ups. A very important follow up an organization that is keen to retain its workforce has to make is to ensure that the ones who stay back are happy and contented. It needs to demonstrate that the employees who remain will be valued. It can make simple but profound gestures like offering an unexpected pay raise or a reward in the form of an outing. It should start working more freely with the existing employees and create conditions by which they will find it difficult to leave.

Reference:

http://tribehr.com/blog/prevent-employee-poaching-by-becoming-a-top-employer/

 

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Broad provisions of the National Labor Relations Act

One of the landmark legislations pertaining to labor relations in US history; the National Labor Relations Act was passed by the American Congress as far back as in 1935. It was one of the most prominent Acts passed during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency.  Since it was New York senator Robert Wagner who was instrumental in formulating and promulgating this piece of legislation, it is sometimes also referred eponymously as the Wagner Act.

The highpoints

The outstanding features of this statute are: it

a)     gives private sector employees to organize themselves into trade unions;

b)     gives them the right to engage in collective bargaining to secure better working conditions and other employment terms;

c)      guarantees improved conditions at work, and

d)     gives them the right to take some forms of collective action, which can include the right to strike work if they think it as being necessary.

 

While these points form the nucleus of this statute; the National Labor Relations Act also made way for the creation of the National Labor Relations Board. This board is given oversight of conduct of elections to unions and other employee-oriented bodies.

When members are voted to important positions of this board; the National Labor Relations Act hands labor unions the status of sole representatives of workers. This is the only legal representation of workers, and is the only body with which the employer has to engage on matters concerning collective bargaining.

Who are exempt?

While National Labor Relations Act brings under its panoply virtually all kinds of employees and workers in the private sector; there are some types of employees who are exempt from its provisions. These include:

a)     employees who come under the Railway Labor Act;

b)     those who do domestic work; those engaged in agriculture (those who work for agriculturists);

c)      independent contractors;

d)     those who work for the government at any level –local, State or federal, and

e)     some kinds of close relatives of employees.

References:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/national_labor_relations_act_nlra

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Labor_Relations_Act

 

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Workplace negativity has to be negated

In any workplace, it is natural for negativity of one or another kind to creep in. This could be because of the work environment, the nature of work, the way colleagues interact, or due to the way an employee is treated in the organization. Whatever the reason for it, HR has to ensure that it works towards minimizing workplace negativity, because if this goes unchecked, its results will be negative, too: poor productivity, employees that suffer low morale, poor teamwork and coordination and the like.

Ways of minimizing workplace negativity

If an organization has to work towards minimizing workplace negativity; it has to ensure a positive working environment. An environment where there are tiffs over trivial issues, politics at the workplace, favoritism, gossip, backstabbing and such other negativities is the ideal breeding ground for negativity. One of the most important tasks for HR is to take care of these elements if it has to work at minimizing workplace negativity.

Team should be helpful

A colleague who is beset by personal problems can also be a negative influence in the organization. Although it is true that employees need to behave like mature adults and not bring their personal grievances into the workplace; it is human nature after all, to have the need for being comforted. An understanding team that is responsive to the problems of a team member will be a factor in minimizing workplace negativity.

The boss has an important role

There are some important factors that can contribute towards minimizing workplace negativity. The manager and the team have to be transparent in their dealings with each other. The superior should lead by example and should be a role model, instead of being someone who keeps his team members apart from each other by politicking. It is often remarked that one of the prime reasons for which employees leave organizations is their boss. It is the boss who is primarily responsible for negativity in the team. One who sets the example is a great factor at minimizing workplace negativity.

HR should stop nitpicking

When HR is entrusted with the task of minimizing workplace negativity; it should start by avoiding nitpicking. A work environment in which people enjoy freedom is a positive one. On the other hand, if HR fastidiously keeps raising silly issues; it will be seen as meddling and irksome and contributing to negativity.

References:

http://humanresource-tips.blogspot.in/2012/01/how-to-reduce-workplace-negativity.html

http://toostep.com/idea/how-can-workplace-negativity-be-minimized-in-an-organisation

http://www.acloche.com/blog/positives-of-a-positive-work-environment-tips-for-minimizing-negativity-in-the-workplace/

 

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Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

Mental disorders and the workplace

Mental disorders are varied and complex. Symptoms of several kinds of mental disorder don’t usually show up easily. Many others are more overt. A person with a mental disorder may have the care and affection of the family; but when it comes to the workplace, it is a difficult luxury to get, because the workplace is not the family! It has invested on that person to get tangible and definite results from him. To discover that the person they found was perfect at the time of the interview and the selection process has a mental disorder can be galling for everyone.

Finger usually points to HR

The HR of the organization would feel doubly embarrassed, because it is the one that is the prime mover of the selection process. It is one thing for a person to develop a mental condition after taking up a job and being in it for many years. This means that at least at the time of the selection, he was fine. Now that the mental disorder would have developed due to some situations at work or at home; it is some kind of consolation for HR. But what kind of consolation is this! Irrespective of the time at which the mental disorder set in; the person needs attending to, and this is one of the prime responsibilities an organization’s HR needs to discharge.

They need support, not sympathy

While this is true largely, we don’t have to worry too much about fixing the blame. A mental disorder can be something that the person hides at the time of the selection process. This being the case; it is difficult to say whether it is HR or other managers that need to be blamed for selecting such a person. First of all, we need to understand that people having mental disorders are not scary. Most of them are people like you and me, it is just that there are a few who get disturbed and behave irrationally or erratically during times. People with this condition need support, and everyone in the organization has a role in making a person come to grips with his condition.

What is the result of having people with mental disorders?

First, let us get an understanding of what can happen at the workplace that has people with mental disorder.

There are many kinds of mental disorders that people suffer from. Many have conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and the like. It is highly unlikely that a person could have more than one of these at the same time.

One of the most common behaviors of these people is that they find it difficult to concentrate at work for long hours; they are restless, nervous or irritable; they can sometimes be short tempered or eccentric. Some people have sleeping difficulties, because of which they find it difficult to concentrate at work. These result in loss of productivity.

Behaviors are different at different times

People with such conditions and disorders behave differently at home and at the workplace. They are usually subdued at the workplace, but are more vocal and sometimes aggressive at home and other places other than the workplace. Many people with mental disorders would be under treatment at the time of taking up their jobs. When they come out openly about their illness at the time of selection; it becomes easier for HR to deal with the problem. But most people hold this information back; for fear that it could come in the way of their selection, or the fear that they could lose their jobs once they are diagnosed with it after taking up their jobs.

How are people with mental disorders identified?

Every person has symptoms that are strongly rooted and displayed in people with mental disorders. How many of us do not exhibit traits like restlessness, shouting out loudly at colleagues, feeling listless and down, and restless and hyperactive? The difference though, is that people with mental disorders do this very often during their working time, and many times are obsessed with this kind of behavior.

Ways of dealing with them

HR has a very important role to play in dealing with people with mental disorders. It is true that everyone, especially teammates, have to help in identifying the problem, but it is HR that plays the role of facilitator in resolving the issue.

The simplest and most effective of remedies HR can bring about is to seek medical attention for the employee with a mental disorder. If the employee has been showing signs for the first time; he needs to be counseled to seek medical advice.

Take colleagues into confidence

Once the problem has been diagnosed, HR has to take such an employee’s colleagues into confidence and apprise them of the situation. It should ideally speak to the doctor and get tips on how to educate colleagues who work with that employee about ways of dealing with such a person. It should first of all make sure that colleagues cooperate with such an employee and not deride or stigmatize him.

Mental disorders are neither wished for, nor do they appear in people who will it. A mental disorder is a complex phenomenon that happens due to factors that science is yet to fully understand. HR has to approach it in a sensible and sane manner, without hurting the diagnosed employee further. It should make sure it handles these cases with utmost dedication, just as if it were a caregiver. If it could help put the person back on track; it is some kind of justified triumph for those in HR.

References:

http://www.reintegration.com/reint/employment/workplace.asp

http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/mental-illness-in-the-workplace/#.URsImme2pDI

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2010/February/mental-health-problems-in-the-workplace

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TrainHR
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Phone:800-385-1627
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43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539

Understand the Gen X employee to manage her

Managing Gen X could be the next big challenge for organizations. It is estimated that by around 2019; Gen X will be in charge of the workplace. What does managing Gen X entail? What is the generation like? Will managements be stretched to their limits in managing Gen X? Will they earn the same loyalty and respect they got from this generation that they got from the previous one/s?

What is Gen X?

After the baby boom generation, which relates roughly to those born in the post war period; the stage is set for the advent of the generation after that, or what is called Gen X, meaning those born from about the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s. Employment analysts surmise that these people will start to attain their highest productivity in around 2019, when they take up their professions or will be some years into it.

Why is managing Gen X considered challenging?

Managing Gen X is challenging for a simple reason: this is the first generation born after the Net took over our lives, so to speak. This generation is the first to be in this position, and sets the trend for being the generation that relies almost entirely on IT for almost anything it does.

In is out, out is in

Since gadgets are here to stay; we can expect that managing Gen X will be akin to managing these gadgets: here today, gone tomorrow. What implications does this trend have for the future of organizations? Employers will now have to come round to the fact that employees are no longer here to stay in the long run. This is the first principle governing the rules of managing Gen X.

Give up micromanaging

It is highly unlikely that Gen X will tolerate any bossing around or micromanaging from its employers. This is a generation that has grown up more independently than perhaps any previous one; so, for people of this generation, the most irritating trait is likely to be micromanaging from employers. They like to be left to themselves, because there are those many more opportunities for them to experiment with anything, be it gadgetry, work, or life itself. The best method in managing Gen X is to give them as much creativity and scope for improvement and experimentation as possible.

Forget loyalty

Another very important element of managing Gen X will be their tendency for job-hopping. It is next to impossible to expect this sprightly generation to stick around for years in the same organization or even in the same profession. For it, it is growth and job satisfaction that comes above everything else, including loyalty. Given that they form the typical global employee gang and the fact of being of very high ethnic diffusion; it is next to impossible to expect them to stay around.

References:

http://blog.dalecarnegie.com/leadership/talent-management-4-ways-to-motivate-gen-x-employees/

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1898024_1898023_1898086,00.html

 

Contact Details
TrainHR
webinars@trainhr.com
http://www.trainhr.com
Phone:800-385-1627
Fax: 302-288-6884
43337 Livermore Common | Fremont| CA | USA | 94539