Dealing with complaints can be emotionally draining. Your complaints handling team deals with angry and confrontational customers on a daily basis, and employee burnout can lead to a loss of productivity, enthusiasm, and even some members of your team.
So how do you avoid burnout? Well, there are several activities and best practices that you can promote yourself within your company's atmosphere.
1. Promote Employee Engagement
The first of these involves employee engagement, which basically means that your employees are actively engaged and motivated within their own job descriptions, and on a higher level, within their company as a whole. To do this, you need to instill company insight from the get-go; all employees should know their company's values, goals, and overall mentality.
Happy employees are typically more attached to their company or brand, often identifying themselves as "we" our "our company". Though the use of these phrases seems unimportant, they actually show that your employees are satisfied and proud (keyword!) to be part of a team.
To promote employee engagement, you can hold training sessions or workshops that educate your employees on company practices or changes in any procedures. Training sessions also provide your workforce with a wider skill set, helping them to feel more intellectually stimulated, and thus less likely to go through a burnout.
2. There’s no “I” in Teamwork
Next up on our list is the staple of any functional workplace: teamwork. Every single person in your company-regardless of their department or position-works with other people. They may be working within a small team on specific projects, or with entire departments or even multiple departments. They key idea here is that this work must be fluid and organized; teamwork is all about the harmonious mesh of different individuals into one big productive unit, much like in the image below.
To best promote team spirit and efficacy in your workplace, invest time in team building activities or a weekend workshop that allows your employees to better get to know each other. Frequent meetings should also be held in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and that every group knows who to contact and where to turn to for questions or concerns.
By catering to an organized and friendly environment, you'll be limiting the amount of stress an employee could otherwise be going through had they been working in an uncooperative team. And once the stress goes down, so too does burnout.
For more information, check out the blogpost Four Internal Communication Best Practices for Complaints Handling.
3. Keep things creative
Another very important notion that companies should always keep in mind is creativity. Going to the same old job day in and day out is draining both physically and mentally, and burnout is often the result of an unstimulated mind.
This is where creative processes come in. Companies should make an active effort to hold weekly or monthly meetings where employees themselves can suggest things-be it improvements on processes, certain training seminars, or even office changes. Keeping an environment new and exciting is absolutely key to avoiding the dull drive of routine.
Likewise, technological and industry improvements can also come to your aid when preventing burnout. If you see a new skill or software worth being implemented, it may be time to train your employees! By offering them more skills (and thus more qualifications!) you'll be providing them with intellectual stimulation that serves as a break from their ordinary workload. And believe me, most employees definitely appreciate it.
It's also a great idea to encourage your workforce to remain physically active; exercise is a proven mood elevator and does wonders for countering symptoms of depression.
4. Show your team that you value them
Lastly, and probably most importantly, the most essential step for preventing burnout is appreciating your employees. When an employee feels valued and respected, they are much more likely to love their job.
For example, Joe is a mechanical engineer who works at a small construction firm. Jim is a consultant at a pharmaceutical company. Whenever Joe and Jim succeed at their respective jobs, Joe is praised by his manager while Jim is not. At the end of the day, it's not hard to see why Joe is happier at his job. So what are Jim's employers doing wrong?
Lack of appreciation, regard, and even mere praise does nothing to further an employee's relationship with their company or employers. Joe will be much more likely to identify with his company and even take pride in his job.
So moral of the story? Don't be Jim's employers. Instead, keep your workforce happy, healthy, and most of all, valued, and you'll find your company's overall productivity increased, and your office environment, that much more satisfied.