While many roles in social care can be quite stressful, the good news is there are a number of things employers and managers can do to help reduce employee burnout.
In fact, research has found that the main factors contributing to employee burnout are within managers’ control – so you’ve got a vital role to play!
Read on to find out how.
1. Check in with your staff regularly
Regularly checking in with your staff to find out how they’re going with their assigned work isn’t just an opportunity to support them in troubleshooting issues.
You can also identify where they’re doing well and provide encouragement, helping them to feel recognised and appreciated.
Make a point to celebrate staff wins, rather than just focusing on what they can do to improve.
The more often you have these work-related conversations, the more you’re establishing open and clear communication as the norm – so your staff know you’re approachable if they need help or aren’t coping.
Helpful questions you could ask your team members to identify potential burnout issues include:
- Is there anything you are finding particularly stressful right now?
- Are there any areas of your work that you need extra help with?
- Have you thought about when you might want to take your annual leave?
- Have you received adequate or regular clinical supervision?
2. Encourage collaboration between staff
While it’s important for your staff to feel confident approaching their manager, it’s equally true that positive and supportive relationships between employees can play a significant role in reducing workplace stress.
Being able to turn to peers for support, advice and social interaction contributes to a comfortable and safe work environment.
Plus, your team’s work will benefit from multiple perspectives when staff work together.
Some ways you could actively encourage collaboration amongst staff members include:
- Team meetings where staff members are invited to voice their concerns or stresses about their assigned work in an environment where they feel supported
- Setting up a buddy system for more experienced staff to mentor new additions to the team
- Organising opportunities for ‘water cooler moments’ for remote workers. These could be informal catch ups for staff to share issues they’re struggling with
- Consider group supervision for staff to share their reflections and what they’re learning, so they don’t feel like they’re facing challenges alone
3. Give your team enough space
No one likes being micromanaged – evidenced by its strong correlation with high burnout rates in staff.
Giving staff the space to decide how and when to go about their assigned tasks creates a relaxed atmosphere, and enables employees to perform in the ways that suit them best.
Just make sure everyone’s on the same page with what’s expected of them first, so your staff aren’t stressing about not having enough clarity in what they need to do!
Some ways you could encourage independence and proactivity in your team include:
- Communicating clearly with staff about the expectations of their role, but giving them some choice in how they achieve key outcomes
- Empowering team members to ask each other for help and advice before they come to you
- Praising staff for taking initiative to try new approaches to their work
4. Invite honest feedback
When it comes to decisions that affect your staff and their workplace, invite suggestions and discussion from employees.
You may discover unexpected preferences that end up making a big difference to your team’s day-to-day functioning and comfort.
The same goes for deadlines – instead of assigning due dates, try asking your staff what they think would be reasonable.
A few practical ways to encourage honest feedback from staff include:
- An anonymous online form, where staff can post suggestions and ideas
- Letting them know about your own ideas for improvements, and asking for their thoughts (allow your ideas to be criticised!)
- Inviting your team’s feedback during meetings
Do you have more tips on how to prevent your staff from burning out? Let us know in the comments below!
Be. Recruitment specialises in talent acquisition for the social care sector. If you’re looking to fill your organisation’s vacancies with quality talent, or you’d like to discuss the next step in your social care career, get in touch with us today.