Are your employees stepping dangerously close to the edge of workaholism and potential burnout? If you think this is a personal issue and employees should take responsibility for their own work-life balance, think again. This isn’t just an issue that impacts personal health and quality of life; workaholism can have a direct and serious impact on your bottom line.
First, workaholics leave. Any rational, intelligent human being will take care of himself and his family first when he reaches a crisis point and has to choose between his own needs and those of his employer. Workoholism pays big dividends for employers…until the day it doesn’t. Second, workoholics may put in long hours and drive themselves crazy over their spreadsheets, but ironically (and sadly), their work actually suffers. Sleep deprivation, poor mental health, poor physical health, limited social connections, limited life experience, and a narrow worldview actually reduce the quality of thought-based work and results. If your employees (and your company) are being undermined by workoholism, here are a few ways to intervene before it’s too late.
Don’t let your employees make their own calls regarding how often they take breaks and vacations. If you allow them too, some trouble-prone employees will skip vacations and sick days altogether…and you’ll be left paying the price. Vacations make employees more productive, and sick days keep them healthy and control the spread of contagion. If these days aren’t being used, step in. Send sick workers home and make sure vacation days are being used properly.
Actively shape your culture.
Your company culture should be sane, smart, and above all, sustainable. Make sure your managers treat employees like human beings…and make sure that employees absorb that message and reflect it in the way they treat each other. Don’t treat employees like heroes if they send emails at two in the morning or stumble into work with the flu. A little healthy eye-rolling can nip such behavior in the bud.
Praise meaningful commitment and smart ideas…not hours on the clock.
Your best and most valuable employees are those who put in a full and honest day’s work. This means they think clearly (with the benefit of sleep and a healthy breakfast), they engage fully with their teams, and they offer their best selves to the company until they go home at a reasonable hour. Your least valuable employees are those who show up at 7:00, nod off at their desks, produce marginal ideas under physical and mental duress, and stare at their screens until midnight.
For more on how to prevent workaholism and reject it in your workplace, contact the staffing team at Cordia.