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How workflow automation can reduce employee burnout?

October 10, 2022
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The world has been developing rapidly, accelerating processes and driving innovations. The constant race of companies for a position at the top creates enormous competition between corporations and professionals. 

Unfortunately, as the stress in the workplace increases, more and more people suffer from professional burnout.

The International Classification of Diseases defines burnout as

“A syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

This blog covers how business owners and managers can work for their employees to help them manage stress to ensure it does not lead to burnout. Read on to learn more.

Disturbing burnout statistics

The problem of burnout is widespread and can bring severe consequences, and the statistics prove that:

  • According to Indeed, 52% of all workers are feeling burned out;
  • Eagle Hill Consulting reports that 36% of employees said their organization isn’t doing anything to help with employee burnout;
  • According to the survey conducted by FlexJobs, only 21% of workers can have open, productive conversations with HR about solutions to their burnout;
  • FlexJobs also claims that 76% of respondents agree that workplace stress affects their mental health;
  • According to Gallup, burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times more likely to seek a different job.

How can businesses decrease the chances of employee burnout?

Businesses now widely acknowledge the problem. This has led to process optimizations and the development of programs to prevent burnout syndrome among employees and help them efficiently cope with it. 

For example, if your developers feel overburdened with work, try evaluating what's leading to stressors. Then, you can accordingly either decrease the workload, hire new professionals to distribute the load or outsource the tasks to Magento developers for hire, for instance.

Another easy way to combat work stress and burnout is simply automating all mundane, error-prone, and time-consuming tasks. This saves you time and money and helps the employee stay focused on only what matters. 

How to detect employee burnout?

World Health Organization highlights three main symptoms of burnout:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion: It may appear as a constant feeling of fatigue, inability to unwind, changes in sleep patterns, physical pains, falling ill often, loss of appetite, and lacking motivation.
  • Negative emotions towards one's job: These can manifest as avoidance, irritation, apathy, lack of concentration, tardiness or early departure from the office, cynicism, and difficulty following through on or finishing projects.
  • Reduced professional efficacy: This might show as a reluctance to speak with coworkers, delay crucial duties performance, or lack of enthusiasm in furthering one's education and developing one's abilities. It is also characterized by working on other projects while at work and having a sense of disconnection or disorientation in meetings.

5 main stages of employee burnout at work

Stages of employee burnout

1. Honeymoon period

The work you do excites you. You experience inspiration, vigor, and enlivenment. Being enthusiastic about your new position, you don't mind skipping meals or staying in the office over your working hours.

Unfortunately, a new job's honeymoon period rarely lasts indefinitely. As a result, we form patterns that might be hard to break later. However, you can extend this phase by maintaining healthy routines.

2. Balancing act

Although everything is good, the work loses its appeal. You have both happy and bad days. Even if you can maintain a good performance at work, it's draining more energy from you. Also, stress might cause sleeping problems or memory issues.

3. Chronic stress

You experience stress and unease often. You may also become annoyed when people ask you to do things at home or elsewhere. You could need coffee to get you through the day, or you might get overtired, apathetic, or both. For this phase, symptoms such as depression, cynicism, and pessimism are typical.

You can also experience the Sunday scaries. These are tense or fearful emotions that appear the day before returning to work, usually after the weekend. According to a 2018 LinkedIn survey, 80% of professionals experience it. The feeling only worsens with time, and you spend your weekends anxious about the work week to come.

4. Burnout

At this moment, physical, psychological, and emotional signs of burnout appear. You could begin skipping tasks, putting things off, failing to meet deadlines, or considering giving up or leaving. You would do basically anything to get out of your position.

5. Enmeshment

During this phase, burnout takes over as your default mode. You might not recall a period when it didn't feel this way.

How can automation help reduce employee burnout?

One of the most effective burnout prevention strategies is workflow optimization. By utilizing intelligent software and innovative machine learning technologies, you can automate any monotonous and tedious work that humans now carry out in your company. 

1. Eliminates the chance of human error

Mistakes make us feel extremely nervous. Workflow automation removes human input from automated activities.

Apart from that, automation frees employees from checking tasks for errors. This allows employees more time to accomplish other things and concentrate on their work activities, such as creating and nurturing sales, recruiting, or networking.

2. Speeds up administrative processes

Maintaining a business requires a lot of administration in whatever field you work. However, managing disorganized and compartmentalized procedures can be stressful. So why use these ineffective procedures and waste time and money?

You can design effective processes by automating and enhancing communication between your software and apps. Businesses can effectively save employee time and effort by employing automated procedures, giving them more control over their workload and reducing stress.

Depending on your business specialization, you can use relevant automation tools. For instance, the Robotic Process Automation tool (RPA) helps manage financial activities, like general accounting, cash disbursement, financial controlling, and more. KYC software enables AML-regulated entities to automate customer due diligence and meet their legal obligations in a secure and compliant manner. AI chatbots handle incoming inquiries from customers. Email Marketing CRM Software automates email marketing campaigns.

Email automation is further boosted with an email verification and validation API, which verifies and automates emails before they’re saved to the database. Since these systems offer real-time SMTP checks and bank-level security protection, your employees don’t have to waste time with manual encryption methods. Not only does this reduce burnout, but it also protects against cyberattacks and scams.

3. Digitizes processes and workflows

You can only adopt effective automation if all of your processes are digital. Embracing this approach might also help reduce the daily demands on your staff. 

It also eliminates the one task most employees detest: handling papers and coping with antiquated equipment like printers, scanners, and even fax machines. Switching to automated digital workflow allows your staff to function only inside an adequate digital environment. An easy start would be to ask your employees what tools and resources they need, like time management software or other solutions, to work more productively and avoid burnout.

4. Improves communication

Any company's daily operations include speaking with customers and coworkers. It may feel time-consuming to keep everyone informed. In addition, things like sending emails, using CRMs, and publishing on collaborative software can interrupt your day. Managing these interactions may be challenging and, if done incorrectly, can lead to misunderstandings, confusion, and dissatisfaction among your team members.

Collaboration and communication get significantly easier with automation across your company apps and software. You can optimize and simplify your company interactions, minimizing the effort and stress for workers, with the help of automatic changes on your CRM, quick alerts sent to colleagues, and much more.

For example, online communication tools allow teams to mention one another on updates, share files, and integrate other platforms into the app for simple access.

What can managers do to help employees avoid burnout?

Employers may more easily keep their best and brightest from burning out if they have excellent management support and an understanding of what leads to burnout. Here are several ways that managers may minimize employee burnout.

1. Teach your staff how to maintain their mental wellness

You probably have on-the-job training sessions. Put mental health on the agenda for one such training. Teach your staff about handling anxiety, personal and professional challenges, and other issues. Bring in experts to instruct your workforce on these concepts and provide them with exclusive consultations.

2. Give employees time to recover

Burnout arises when employees push themselves to the maximum, which is also counterproductive. Managers should modify workloads, set reasonable goals, and recognize when someone has been operating in overdrive at full speed for a long time. 

Although recuperation time or breaks can assist with the signs of burnout, they don't offer a permanent cure. So managers should pay attention to the fundamental causes as well.

It can be helpful for a manager to have a one-on-one meeting with each of their direct subordinates. During these meetings, they can check the employee's general well-being and address concerns. It's crucial to keep everything discussed in the meetings in secret.

3. Foster communication inside the team

Social support positively impacts employee engagement and ensures stress reduction. In addition, employers have the potential to promote social networks and teamwork among employees, establishing a sense of community. These social ties will enable workers to receive the required help to prevent burnout.

You can also organize regular company lunches, Friday parties, or team-building activities. Last, reward your staff and make them feel valued to avoid employee burnout. This way, they will feel happier and more connected.

4. Let them grow

Employees of certain occupations may move up the corporate ladder. Others, though, have "dead-end employment." They have little prospect of getting ahead. The current job may become a career ceiling if you don't find another option.

Every profession simply cannot provide a chance to advance in the traditional sense, but it is still feasible to set goals that bring purpose to one's work. Your workers require benchmarks, including financial objectives, experience goals, or micro-position goals.

Final word

Employers should prioritize employee welfare and management assistance to prevent workplace burnout. It's your responsibility as an employer to provide your workers with adequate resources and help protect them from burnout. Apart from that, companies and supervisors must actively assist burned-out personnel in recovering from their condition. Remember that burnout is an organizational problem, not a personal one.

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