The healthcare industry is known for highly stressful situations. Burnout has a direct impact on patient safety and patient satisfaction. What are the keys to recognizing and addressing it? And better yet, how can you protect your staff from burnout?
Burnout Warning Signs
Early detection of burnout is important to prevent employees from completely shutting down. If you can recognize the warning signs, it can help you intervene before it’s too late. Two common signs are disengagement and exhaustion.
Disengagement – If you notice that an employee is emotionally disconnecting from patients or peers, he or she might be heading toward burnout. An increased lack of caring, lack of conversation, or lack of commitment is a warning sign that something is wrong.
Exhaustion - Is your employee mentally, emotionally or physically worn out? Watch for the signs. Some of them are listed below:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lateness to work or absenteeism
- Accidents at home or work
- Weight loss
- Blank facial expression
- Neglect in personal appearance
- Emotional outbursts
- Extremely negative talk
Identify the Causes
Do you know the causes of extreme stress for your employees? There are several possibilities, but you really need to meet with the affected employees to know exactly what’s fueling their burnout. Some possible causes include:
- Lack of communication or support from management
- Lack of recognition
- Lack of work/life balance
- Personal issues, including family or health concerns
- Poor job fit for the employee’s ability or skills
- Unchallenging work
- Unfair treatment/favoritism
- Unrealistic job expectations
- Work overload
- Workplace conflicts
Preventing burnout for healthcare staff is an ongoing effort. It requires periodic reassessment of the work culture to ensure your staff has what they need to be successful. Although you can’t eliminate stress, you can help employees manage it better and identify unnecessary stressors. Where do you start? Some suggestions are listed below.
- Avoid overwork.
- Encourage career growth.
- Encourage employees to make time for their own well-being.
- Encourage employees to talk about the source of their frustrations.
- Find ways to regularly check-in with each employee.
- Provide more opportunities for work/life balance.
- Recognize and reward high performance.
- Regularly communicate with employees about new policies, procedures or other workplace changes.
- Resolve workplace conflicts.
- Treat employees fairly.
Staffing Solutions Can Help You Focus on Other Matters
How do you make time in your busy schedule to address workplace stress and burnout? Where possible, delegation can help. Many healthcare organizations have found our recruiters at WSi to be trustworthy and highly competent in providing the best staffing solutions for their needs. You can trust us, too. We’ve been named one of the 10 Most Dependable Staffing Agencies of the West. Contact us today.