It’s no secret that it’s been a tough time for hiring. Across the country and in many industries, businesses – especially those in hospitality – have reduced hours or closed on certain days due to a lack of staff. Adding to the dire hiring crisis is what is being called the “Great Resignation.” A record 4 million people quit their jobs in April 2021 alone, according to the Labor Department. The reasons for leaving vary from seeking more money, to wanting flexibility and more happiness. Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers are now putting a higher value on remote work that results in less time in long and frustrating commutes.
Burnout is on the rise too and no doubt contributing to the high number of resignations. Over half (52%) of survey respondents are experiencing burnout in 2021 – up from 43% who said the same in an Indeed pre-COVID-19 survey. There’s clearly a need for businesses to hire and retain the talent they need to survive and thrive.
The lack of work-life balance often fuels burnout and job dissatisfaction. Being unable to disconnect from the office and an inability to take time off leaves little time for workers to refresh and recharge. Additional stress factors include financial difficulties, illnesses, and long hours without breaks.
In the struggle to attract and keep employees, how can companies overcome burnout? Beyond wage increases, there are several options to consider.
Encourage Employees to take PTO
One way to urge employees to take the time they’ve earned is to incorporate a set deadline for using paid time off (PTO). An example is establishing that December 31 is the last day to use PTO. Limiting rollover PTO is also a great way to inspire employees to use their earned time throughout the year.
As an employer it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s never a good time for workers to be out of the office. The reality is, however, that everyone needs time away to rest and recharge. Discouraging employees from taking PTO, whether expressing frustration when time off is requested, openly complaining about employees being out, or refusing to take time off as an owner or manager, sends a clear message that PTO is not valued. This unfortunate attitude can quickly lead to employee resentment and burnout. That’s why it’s worthwhile to consider implementing a policy that leaves no room for vacation shaming. Make it a clear policy that managers and employees are expected to follow and maintain as part of your company culture.
Think Beyond Typical Vacation Time
Many companies use a variety of methods to relive the pressure valve of non-stop work. Ideas to consider include offering paid time off for volunteer work and employee birthdays. Planning fun team building outings and encouraging lunch breaks and time for exercise are great ideas too. Many businesses bring in yoga teachers and other trainers for this purpose.
Address All Forms of Wellness
A holistic approach to employee wellness has gained traction, and for good reason. Physical health is just a portion of the overall picture. Mental health is equally important and issues in this realm can be just as debilitating. Employers can address this by looking for medical plans that include mental health benefits such as telemedicine, counseling, and prescription drug plans. Having tools in place that can help workers with stress, depression, and other related mental health issues in the workplace can increase employee engagement, performance, and satisfaction. An employee assistance program (EAP) can also help. These programs provide free confidential resources and tools to assist employees with personal and/or work-related difficulties.
Offering financial wellness programs can reduce stress as well through continued education opportunities and retirement planning. These programs are often customized to include financial planning, tuition reimbursement, financial resources (i.e., seminars and courses), and loan assistance services that can boost overall employee wellness.
It’s easy to see that benefits go a long way in helping to keep workers healthy and happy. Often though, finding health insurance for small and medium-sized companies is difficult. If health and wellness offerings seem out of reach for your business, SBS Payroll can help. We are a trusted professional employer organization (PEO) that assists companies with benefits administration. We make it easy to take care of your workers with affordable employee benefit packages that will attract and retain top talent. Contact SBS Payroll to get started.
NPR – As the Pandemic Recedes Missions of Workers are Saying I QuitForbes- Indeed Study Shows that Worker Burnout is at Frighteningly High Levels