Blog, Business

How to Prevent Burnout in Your Employees

There is no doubt that work can be stressful. Mix in the toll of one’s personal life and the risk of burnout is very real, and the impact even more so. Paying attention to the warning signs and taking action will make it easier to curb burnout and still allow for the motivation to make the necessary changes to get back on track.

With that in mind, let us highlight some effective ways you can help your employees if they are showing signs of burnout.

There is a loss of control

Individuals that start to lose control over aspects of scheduling and time management inevitably begin to feel helpless and hopeless, thus running the risk of major burnout. Therefore, it is important that employees do not have structures and policies that are inflexible, as such constrictions can make them feel trapped. Encourage employees to take 10-15 minutes every morning to outline the goals they would like to accomplish so they can regain a sense of control of their day.

There is a lack of transparency

When employees feel as if they are being overlooked for a promotion, are not being properly compensated for the work they are doing, or feel as if they are not getting the full story from upper management, they run a much higher risk of experiencing negative feelings and, ultimately, burnout. As a supervisor or manager, it is best to be open and honest with employees when communicating about decisions and giving reasonable explanations. Offering workshops and other resources to help employees cope could greatly curb burnout as well.

There is a shift in overall attitude

When employees are stressed, emotions can be difficult to control and it is easier for them to get angry or upset in a matter of moments. Burnout contributes to moodiness, negativity, and an overall lack of motivation. Talk to employees and offer support. Suggest taking up a new hobby and encourage disconnecting from work when out of the office.

There is a loss of confidence

When employees experience burnout, they often begin second-guessing themselves and the quality of their work. If an individual feels that they are not able to confidently do their job, they fully disengage and do not actively contribute to the task at hand. To mitigate such a situation, make a point to check in with your employees and help set a few reasonable personal goals to help regain their confidence. Also set small, achievable performance goals to help get them back on track.

Burnout has become a pervasive issue in Western societies, especially since the advent of mobile devices. Ensure you are doing all you can to set your employees up for long-term success. After all, their triumphs are also yours.

Paul Saunders is a founder and principal of James River Capital Corp. and its affiliated companies. In addition to those roles, Paul also serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of James River Captial Corp. and James River Financial Corp. To learn more about Paul Saunders and his professional pursuits, please be sure to visit his website.

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Blog, Business

Mindfulness Exercises That Aid in Relieving Stress

This blog post originally appeared on Paul Saunders’ website.

In this day and age, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by one’s responsibilities at home and in the workplace. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association revealed that this phenomenon is rapidly sweeping the United States, with upwards of 75 percent of Americans reporting symptoms of chronic stress. Furthermore, approximately 45 percent of the same participants reported experiencing regular sleeplessness.

Thankfully, there are effective methods of mitigating the draining impacts of everyday life. However, it is imperative to note that such a feat is not achieved overnight. Instead, reducing one’s overall stress level is a long-term commitment that often requires further lifestyle adaptations, like exercising more often, adopting a healthier diet, and so on.

With that being said, let us explore some mindfulness exercises that can aid in relieving stress.

Focusing on breathing

When we begin to feel overwhelmed, our bodies release a number of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which trigger your natural “fight or flight” response. Once this switch has been flipped, our hearts begin to pound, our muscles tighten, and our breathing quickens considerably.

To effectively combat the body’s initial response to stress, it is best to focus on controlling your breathing. This can be achieved by removing yourself from your stressors, closing your eyes, and making a concentrated effort to take deep, even breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Regaining control over your breathing will subsequently regulate your heart rate and reduce your body’s production of adrenaline and cortisol.

Practicing acceptance

As difficult as it may be to admit, our circumstances are not always under our control. Sometimes, traffic will make us late for work at the most inopportune times; babysitters will cancel and ruin our plans; and we will fall ill before a big deadline or event. However, there is little more we can do than accept the situation and our feelings toward it. Otherwise, we will cause ourselves to become unnecessarily angry and stressed.

Now, this is not to say that you should become complacent and simply accept every negative incident that comes your way. After all, you do have the power to alter situations that you do not like. However, in times of heavy traffic or altered plans, it is imperative we choose our battles and prioritize our personal wellbeing over a simple emotional outburst.

It is entirely possible, if not feasible, to take the reins and steer yourself toward a more stress-free life. However, accomplishing this goal requires patience, persistence, and the understanding you will fail from time to time. After all, you are only human, but showing yourself a level of gentleness and grace will only improve your mindset over time.

Blog

The Benefits of Allowing Pets in the Workplace

This blog post originally appeared on Paul Saunders’ website.

Bringing pets into the workplace is becoming an increasingly popular trend, forged by the likes of Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s, and Google. Now there are nearly 180 companies following suit in New York City alone.

However, it is important to note that introducing employees’ beloved furry friends to the office is not just some ploy companies are using to attract the newest members of the workforce. Instead, this tactic has been proven to garner positive results on personal and corporate levels, from improving employee morale to decreasing overall turnover.

With that in mind, let us explore the benefits of allowing pets in the workplace.

Pets improve the company’s image

Allowing employees to bring in their pets not only improves their perception of the company but can make a positive impact on customers and prospective hires as well. This is especially true if clients physically visit the business, as the opportunity to interact with an employee’s pet enables them to relax and thoroughly enjoy their time at the establishment.

Pets alleviate stress

It is no secret that employees endure elevated stress levels throughout the standard work week. However, bringing one’s pet to the office can allow them to feel more comfortable and optimistic, regardless of the tense situations they may encounter.

Furthermore, a 2012 study by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that employees who brought their pets to work had decreased levels of hormonal stress, especially when compared to those who did not bring any pets at all. In fact, those individuals showed steadily increasing levels of hormonal stress until the end of the workday.

Pets increase employee performance

Those who work in pet-friendly environments have been shown to work longer hours, as they no longer have to worry about rushing out of the office to care for their pets at the end of the day. Furthermore, these employees also have fewer absences, likely because they do not have to stay home to tend to their pets when they are sick.

Pets promote positive interactions

As previously mentioned, a pet-friendly workplace improves employees’ morale and decreases stress. Additionally, pets act as a common point of interest, thus creating social opportunities for employees who would otherwise not speak to one another. In the long run, these increased social interactions could aid leaders in fostering an environment of teamwork, collaboration, and communication.

This tactic certainly is not for everyone. However, there are some outstanding benefits to bringing pets into the workplace. Perhaps it is time you consider affording your employees this privilege, as it could boost not only their personal performance but your company’s performance as well.

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What is Workplace Wellness?

Over the years, individuals have become more proactive in caring for their bodies and trying to mitigate diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart failure. However, with elevated healthcare costs, a more demanding work schedule across the board, heightened physical inactivity and poor dietary habits, many find themselves floundering in their efforts as soon as they have begun.

In order to combat these negative factors, many companies have taken the time to curate workplace wellness programs, which are designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve employees’ overall health and well-being. While there are some mixed reviews on the efficacy of such strategies, some have genuinely garnered positive results, thus sparking the interest of organizations on a global scale.

Given these facts, it may be beneficial to further explore the topic of workplace wellness and the impact it could make on employees and corporations alike.

What does workplace wellness entail?

When one hears the term, “workplace wellness,” their minds may go straight to physical fitness and nutrition. However, these programs offer a number of other benefits, such as smoking cessation and screenings for high cholesterol, glucose tolerance, and diseases of the blood.

A workplace wellness initiative will also encourage employees to change their daily habits, mostly by providing standing desks and suggesting frequent stretch breaks to reduce physical inactivity. Furthermore, some programs go so far as to offer employees memberships to a local gym at a reduced price, or cover their fitness expenses entirely.

It is important to note, though, that workplace wellness does not just seek to improve employees’ physical well-being. Instead, its aim is to improve their mental well-being as well. After all, work-related stress is an epidemic that has swiftly swept nearly every Westernized country.

Therefore, these initiatives provide employees with new and innovative methods of combating stress, coping with tense situations, and maintaining a more positive attitude at work overall. Additionally, they may introduce more social activities in order to break the ice amongst employees and combat any feelings of loneliness that are associated with working in an office.

Although these workplace wellness initiatives do mean well, some are still skeptical or are wary of taking advantage of their benefits. Therefore, some companies may need to incorporate incentives to boost employee engagement and success, such as gift cards, an additional day of paid time off, or a premium discount to their favorite retailer.

Regardless of the tactics you choose to employ, it is evident that workplace wellness can make a positive impact on the modern workforce. Therefore, it may be beneficial to consider taking these steps to improve your employees’ long-term well-being.