Service with a smile shouldn’t come at the cost of employee wellbeing.

The service industry, known for its tireless workforce, is now facing a pressing challenge:  employee burnout. While labor shortages have eased in some sectors, service jobs remain hard to fill, putting added stress on current staff.

Employees in the service industry are uniquely affected by burnout, due to a combination of factors including long workdays, odd hours, and the emotional labor required to meet high customer expectations. According to a recent survey, service workers were so dissatisfied with their current situations that more than half  (56%) left their company without another job lined up. Additionally, 52% of survey respondents indicated that burnout was their primary motivation for leaving their previous job.

High turnover rates due to burnout not only disrupt business operations but also lead to additional costs associated with recruitment, training, and decreased productivity.  Addressing employee burnout is crucial for retaining top talent and ensuring your team’s ongoing health and success.

What is Employee Burnout?

Burnout can occur in any profession, but it is particularly prevalent in high-demand jobs such as restaurants, hospitality, and retail. According to the World Health Organization, burnout is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive work-related stress. Employees experiencing burnout often feel depleted, physically drained, and emotionally worn out.

Signs of employee burnout can manifest in various ways, such as:

Increased absenteeism.

Burnout can lead to increased absenteeism, with employees taking more sick leave or frequently calling in for time off.

Increased cynicism and detachment.

Employees may develop a negative or cynical attitude towards their work, coworkers, or customers.

Decreased job satisfaction.

Burnout can lead to a significant decline in job satisfaction, causing individuals to feel disillusioned, unfulfilled, and disconnected from their work. They may lack the enthusiasm and engagement they once had.

How to Overcome Burnout

1. Create a work environment that emphasizes wellness.

Creating a supportive and inclusive organizational culture promotes engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction. To build a positive culture at work, emphasize the company’s concern for employee wellbeing. Use an internal portal or social media to share tips on how to recognize and manage burnout. To cultivate meaning on the job, recognize and reward employees’ achievements and contributions. This boosts morale and creates a sense of appreciation.

2. Offer competitive compensation and benefits.

Compensation plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining talent. In the survey referenced above, better compensation was the number one reason that attracted respondents (41%) to their current job. If salary increases aren’t feasible, consider an incentive program such as a longevity bonus that rewards employees for staying onboard. Also, offering benefits such as healthcare, profit sharing, and retirement plans all require upfront costs but deliver the strongest impact on loyalty.

3. Learn what motivates your employees.

While money is clearly a key motivator, many companies, particularly small businesses, can’t compete with compensation and benefits packages offered by larger organizations. Luckily, not all incentives need to be monetary. Consider conducting a survey or poll to ask employees what they would like to see done differently, what opportunities they value, or what type of employee recognition would motivate them the most. Actively seeking employee input fosters a sense of ownership and engagement, as employees feel valued and included in decision-making processes.

4. Provide a manageable schedule and workload.

Providing a manageable schedule and workload shows a company’s commitment to the overall wellbeing of its employees, promoting a positive culture and enhancing the company’s reputation as an employer of choice. Consider implementing fixed shifts and adding an overtime policy. Try to accommodate requests for preferred schedules and limit employees to 40 hours per week. This article offers additional scheduling ideas to help reduce burnout.

5. Offer personalized onboarding and career development.

According to research conducted by TinyPulse, 66% of all employees surveyed lose motivation when they don’t see strong opportunities for professional growth in their current roles. The good news is that new technologies are available to automatically chart a personalized career development path for each employee based on their individual strengths and growth opportunities. A LinkedIn study found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. Leveraging employee developmental tools helps ensure that team members stay engaged and continue to grow with your company.

6. Start building employee commitment before you hire.

One of the best places to manage burnout is before employees ever show up for work. Our research shows that employees perform better and stay longer when they are the right match for the job. Pre-hire tools can help you pinpoint which candidates are the best match for the role and your organization. For example, retention indexes quickly identify candidates who are a good fit for the job and less likely to leave. In addition, job simulations offer candidates a realistic glimpse into the demands and expectations of a particular role and ensure they have the necessary competencies for the job. This alignment between expectations and reality improves retention rates, saves resources associated with recruitment, and creates a more stable workforce.

Here’s how we can help

For more than 30 years, Employment Technologies has collaborated with some of the world’s most successful service organizations, helping them boost employee engagement, loyalty, performance, and retention. To discuss proven solutions for reducing employee burnout for your organization, click here to schedule a free consultation or call 888.332.0648 and talk with one of our HR Experts today!