In a normal work situation, it is already quite difficult for an employer to recognize that an employee is facing a burnout. But now that many employees are working entirely from home, they are flying under the radar. How can you best deal with this as an employer or manager?
Work stress has been increasing for years. The number of working Dutch people who suffer from burnout complaints has risen to 1.3 million in recent years. Work stress and burn-outs cost employers more than three billion euros a year. The corona pandemic has certainly not improved the situation. For example, 59 percent of employees indicate that corona causes a lot of tension during work. This was found in a study by Aegon and Women Inc. The majority of the respondents indicated that the employer did not act on time. This increased the risk of burnout.
As an employer, take action on time and prevent absenteeism due to stress
Set a good example as a manager
That’s called leading by example. If managers show that they value vitality, there is a good chance that employees will follow up on this. For example, do you want to encourage your employees not to work in the evenings and weekends? Then it is important that you do not do this yourself and that you do not send your employees emails or messages. Can’t it be otherwise? In that case, clearly indicate that you do not expect a message in return.
Tackle stress at the source
That makes sense. Yet employers are often inclined to look at how they can make employees more resilient through courses and training. In fact, that is symptomatic relief. The Working Conditions Act therefore asks employers to tackle stress at the source.
Show that you care about mental health
Employees rarely ring the bell themselves. This is because employees often do not realize that their work stress is becoming a serious risk. 80 percent of stressed employees don’t see burnout coming. As an employer, you must therefore actively engage in the conversation. Show that you care about mental health. Make sure that employees dare to indicate in time that they experience stress. You cannot build a safe environment in one day, but you can start today. Know what is going on business and private
Stress can be work related. But in many cases, someone’s private life also plays a role. How someone feels at home affects the workplace, and vice versa. You may not be able to prevent stress with a cause in the private sphere, but you can let an employee know that he feels heard and understood.
Recognize the signals
However, there are things to keep in mind as a manager. For example, you probably notice if an employee often complains about fatigue and poor sleep.Even if someone calls in sick more often, this can be a predictor of long-term absenteeism. Another thing to watch out for: if an employee takes more days off than usual. The previously cited research by Women Inc and Aegon shows that 40 percent of employees with stress complaints first take days off before calling in sick. As an employer, you also know where your strengths lie and where not. Hire an expert or professional in good time. Particularly in the case of stress-related absenteeism, it is essential that correct and rapid action is taken in the short term. This is where the most gains can be made, according to this study.
This is an article from our Future-Oriented Employer series, powered by Aegon. As an employer, you want to have it properly arranged for your employees. Aegon and Business Insider are happy to help you with that. By pointing out obstacles and opportunities in good time. And by offering the right products and services, such as Aegon’s income solutions.