I know, I’m asking you to follow a few links and do a bit of reading here, but this is important. Not just because supporting employees is key to attracting and retaining the best talent, nor because employees who can bring themselves honestly to the workplace are likely to be more engaged and passionate about the job, but because those people who work for you are human beings. The workplace is where they will spend so much of their day to day lives, even when that workplace is virtual. They’ll spend more time interacting with each other than most other people in their lives. If we can’t look out for each other in that space, we’re doing a massive disservice to each other.
Use your vacation days, encourage the people who work for you to use their vacation days. Putting anything work-related above the need we all have for time away from work, is surely one road to burnout. There are many others, some of which you can’t do anything about by yourself, but this is one you control. And it’s easy enough to do and to allow your people to do.
There are 4 suggestions in the article below, and I encourage you to check them out and apply them in your workplace, toward everyone, but there’s something just so stereotypical that you can see a direct correlation between employee assistance programs and the number of women who work there. That tells me that we still, in 2021, expect men to just suck it up and not need help.
That attitude is damaging, and in some cases killing, men as we speak. The same ones we work with everyday. Don’t we owe them more?
The other statistics in this article point out what kind of impact those two facts above have on the bottom line, but I’m going to take issue with the importance they are given in this article. Don’t just make changes in your workplace culture because it’s better for the bottom line, do it because it’s the right thing to do for the human beings who work for you. They aren’t lines on a spreadsheet, they are people, with lives outside of work, who you have an opportunity to support. The fact that supporting them might also help your bottom line is nice, but irrelevant to the larger issue.
I think the headline really speaks for the entire article. We can get all the self-care tips in the world, do yoga on the regular, eat well, and everything else, but if we work in a place that regularly requires 60 hour work weeks, ridiculous deadlines, and doesn’t really give us some control over work that we enjoy, that’s still going to be a recipe for burnout.
If you have any employees that report to you, go read the article and consider what it is that you are doing with your own workplace. Are they headed for burnout? Do you care enough to make changes to avoid that? Or is that “just the way it is” in your industry? If it is, ask yourself why it’s that way? Is there actually a legitimate reason for it? Or are you just so engrained in it that you can’t imagine rethinking the way your industry works?
If you care about the mental health of your employees, this report might be of interest to you. From the takeaways, we can already see that things are not going well: