Author: Cassie Gasaway
The archery industry is unique in that almost everyone involved is passionate about archery, bowhunting and introducing others to the sports. But after years of doing the same thing — no matter how much you love it — you might experience workplace burnout. And burnout seems almost inevitable when coupled with the fact that most ATA members work long hours and must stay positive and upbeat, even when dealing with tough customers or clients.
Burnout is an epidemic in the American culture. In fact, an Indeed survey in March 2021 found that 52% of surveyed workers feel burned out and 67% believe burnout has worsened during the pandemic. With numbers on the rise, it’s time to take a closer look at the workplace burnout definition, characteristics and solutions for preventing it.
The WHO classified workplace burnout as an official syndrome. Photo Credit: Insight Wellness Works
What Is Burnout?
The World Health Organization defines it as a syndrome created from chronic workplace stress. Numerous things, including heavy workload, lack of support, unfair treatment at work, unclear employee expectations and unreasonable time restrictions on tasks can cause burnout.
How can you recognize it? When people start to feel burned out, they usually withdraw from work, look or feel depleted or exhausted, have negative feelings about work and become more ineffective and inefficient. You can look for signs and symptoms in yourself and from co-workers. People experiencing burnout are often tired, distracted and less productive. They might also call in sick or skip work more regularly. These nuances are bad for business and affect customers and other employees alike.
How do you overcome burnout and prevent it from happening again? Burnout isn’t something to sweep under the table — for yourself or anyone else. It needs to be addressed, managed and ultimately prevented through regular check-ins, good communication and a positive environment. Ignoring burnout might cause employees to leave, make careless mistakes, badmouth your business or close themselves off to workplace communications. To combat and prevent burnout, use these five tips.
1. Take a Vacation: Take time off and encourage employees to take time off, too. Going on vacation provides the opportunity to rest, relax and reset. Regardless of whether someone stays home or goes someplace new, the break from work allows them to decompress and focus on their mental and physical health, and then return to work refreshed and revived.
2. Balance Your Work-Home Life: If you’re in the office late, missing family dinners or your child’s sporting event, you might start to resent work. Likewise, if you’re away from the office too much, you might fail to see workplace drama, issues or problems that must be addressed. It’s important to find a good work-home balance. Don’t ask too much of yourself or your employees. If possible, ask your employees which hours they prefer to work and provide a flexible work schedule. Also, consider letting them go home an hour early if they had a rough, stressful day. These things create balance by easing workplace tension or frustration, therefore creating more loyal, appreciative employees.
3. Mentor Someone New: Becoming a mentor or hosting a mentoring program can be extremely beneficial for you because you get to see archery and hunting through fresh eyes, which is empowering and enriching. As you’re helping a beginner feel more comfortable and confident with hunting, you’re also reigniting your own spark for archery and bowhunting. Mentoring also creates new customers for your business and helps the outdoor industry as hunting license and equipment purchases generate funds for conservation. Read ATA’s article “How Mentoring Can Boost Your Business” for more details.
Check in with your employees and see if they're feeling workplace burnout. Photo Credit: FBS Benefits
4. Communicate with Employees:
Hold one-on-one meetings with staff members and give them opportunities to share their workplace concerns and struggles. Regular check-ins allow you to potentially catch issues before they compound or worsen. Listen to them carefully and relay the message back to them to ensure you understand the situation correctly. You can also use meetings to discuss employee goals. Strive to give them the time, tools and resources needed to achieve their goals, and you’ll boost employee satisfaction. Another way to get honest employee feedback is to ask employees to complete an anonymous survey.
5. Boost Employee Morale: In short, happy employees equal a happy workplace, which equals a more enjoyable environment for customers and employees. It’s easy to get burned out on work when it is boring, stressful or uninviting. Make sure your employees feel respected and appreciated. Boost employee morale by offering incentives, compliments and positive feedback. You can also invigorate their spirit by buying lunch, doing a team-building activity or showing interest in their personal life. These interactions help retain quality employees and increase their focus and engagement at work.
Put plans and policies in place to protect yourself and your employees from workplace burnout. Taking proactive steps toward avoiding burnout shows you care about your business, as well as your employees’ well-being and performance.