Keeping your employees happy is essential to running any type of business because employee morale has a major effect on productivity and turnover rates. When your employees are happy, they’re much more likely to stay with your company and feel more motivated because they are personally invested in their work. If you own a warehouse business, these factors can be even more important due to the manual labor aspect of the job. It’s easy to become tired quickly when you’re performing mundane, repetitive tasks or carrying heavy items around all day. But, there are some tips for how to kick that employee burnout and keep your staff happy and healthy.
What Is Employee Burnout?
The term “employee burnout” is a phrase that can be used in nearly every industry. It describes a feeling that employees develop over time. Even your top employees can experience burnout, which is simply the feeling of being overwhelmed and overworked. It’s fairly easy to recognize the symptoms of burnout, especially for managers and bosses who have a close relationship with their employees. It’s one of the many reasons it’s important to be sure that your presence is a regular occurrence around your employees.
The most obvious signs of burnout include a lack of motivation, an increasing number of times the employee is late or calls out, lack of energy, and a change in their demeanor. For example, if you notice that an employee who is usually cheerful and friendly has become short-tempered or quiet, this may be a sign of burnout. Although burnouts are often caused by too much work-related stress or being overworked, it is normal for personal life issues to also add to the stress of burnout. If an employee is struggling with some issues at home, it can have an effect on their work performance. It’s important to identify and address burnout before it becomes too serious.
Why Is it Bad?
Employee burnout is bad for a number of reasons. It affects your employees’ health and happiness and brings down the overall morale of your staff. Any good manager should be concerned about both their employees’ mental and physical health. All employees should be trained on warehouse safety, and managers should keep a close eye on their team to be able to more easily identify when someone is acting out of character. Having dependable shipping supplies can also diminish stress. If employees are frequently getting burned out, it can also affect your retention rates, and you ideally want to keep employees around to build a better, more experienced crew. Employee burnout can be a huge mental burden on the individual, so you should also be concerned about each person’s well-being and be willing to find a solution.
How to Avoid Employee Burnout
Any type of repetitive job can easily lead to employee burnout, and since warehouse employees tend to be moving around but doing the same types of tasks often, it makes sense that some of them would be prone to these feelings. To help eliminate the possibility of employee burnout, try cross-training your employees across multiple departments. This adds some variety to their everyday job and may even allow them to utilize other special skills they don’t typically use during work. Be sure that employees are thoroughly trained in each department and provide clear guidelines on when they can work in each department.
The advancements that we, as humans, have made in technology over the last few decades are unparalleled, and new technologies are popping up all the time. The entire purpose of our tech is to help make our lives and our jobs easier, which is why there have been so many new inventions. When it comes to running a warehouse, there are plenty of opportunities to integrate new technology, especially if it makes your employees’ jobs easier. Try to eliminate tedious tasks by using technology, or adding a technological solution that makes the job easier.
Limit Shift Times
This may sound like an obvious suggestion, but you need to have a strict time limit on how long each employee’s shift is. This also applies to overtime. Limit the amount of overtime that is allowed and available as working too many hours is a major cause of burnout. Shifts should be no longer than eight hours, 10 at the absolute max. Although some people may think it’s a smart idea to work more hours for fewer days, studies have shown that after eight to 10 hours, employees’ productivity is greatly reduced.
Provide Plenty of Break Time
Breaks are essential, especially if someone is working a physically laborious job. As the manager or owner of the company, it’s important that you let your employees know that they are welcome to take breaks. This will allow them time to unwind, collect their thoughts and relax from their stressful work. However, sometimes people will take advantage of a generous break policy, which is why it’s also essential that managers and bosses make their presence a normal part of the job. This can prevent employees from slacking off if they’re unsure whether or not their boss is going to appear at any given moment. Make a strict break policy and provide a separate area away from the warehouse for people to take their breaks.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and when we feel like our hard work is being noticed, it motivates us to work even harder. If you noticed that an employee seems to be burned out, invite them for a chat. This will give you the chance to ask them about their feelings and provide them with positive feedback about their own performance, which may inspire them to continue doing what they are doing.
Keep Your Employees Happy and Productive
Employee burnout is a common problem amongst warehouse workers because sometimes jobs can become mundane or stressful. To keep your employees safe and healthy, be sure to teach them the proper warehouse safety rules and encourage them to care for their mental health as well. Regular breaks and shift time limits can help put a cap on the amount of work they do in a day. Too much work can lead to being overloaded. Then, use technology and cross-training to make their everyday job more interesting and provide opportunities for new ideas.