Burnout is the last thing you want at work. People who suffer from it don't perform well, get sick more often and experience higher absenteeism. What causes it? Essentially, it's what happens when chronic stress goes unchecked. That's according to Justin Black, director of organizational development science at Glint, an HR platform which leverages artificial intelligence to monitor and improve employee sentiment. Here's what he says any company can do to make sure its youngest workers are happy and at their best while on the job.
1. Offer flexible (or no) policies.
Empowerment--giving people space to make decisions--is a powerful weapon against burnout, particularly when it comes to people younger than 35. "The unlimited vacation policy at Netflix is a good example," he says. "Employees are trusted to do what's right for the company and to take care of themselves personally."
2. Managers need to understand how each team member is unique.
The things that stress team members will vary according to temperament, personality and experience. Make it a daily habit to figure out what motivates--and demotivates--people. "This will equip you to support your team in specific and impactful ways instead of just going through the motions," he says.
3. Use recognition to make people feel appreciated.
A simple "thank you" for great work affecting the team's success goes a long way. "Positive feedback on the spot, if possible, is even better," he says.
4. Offer monetary rewards.
Employees in their early 30s often suffer from more stress due to being in a season of life during which they're incurring debt. For this reason, cash bonuses can be particularly effective when it comes to banishing burnout. "Bonuses give strong temporary boosts to happiness and motivation and can be a good way to help someone recover from a tough project or an especially busy quarter," he says.
5. Help employees relax during the day.
It's vital to provide employees with opportunities to exercise, meditate or otherwise blow off steam. And, leaders need to encourage and model this behavior. "Give your team members the space and flexibility to engage in something other than the things that are causing them stress, whatever it is that helps them relax," he says.
6. Understand that stressing out can be a habit that's difficult to break.
It takes a lifetime to form stress-causing habits, so they won't be undone overnight. "I tend to take on more than I can accomplish in a normal work day and end up anxious about meeting deadlines," he says. "Start small, for example, by saying 'no' to one thing each day. These small wins will motivate you to gradually do more of what you need to do to be happy and healthy."