Preventing Burnout

by Jill Tunick, Freelance Writer; Arlington, VA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2000, Vol. 70, Issue 12, Pg. 66-67

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Times are good and you have more work than you can handle. That's an enviable position to be in, correct? Maybe not, according to business experts and small engineering firms. Consistently heavy workloads can diminish employees' effectiveness and erode morale, especially if managers don't consider staffers' needs. That can lead to walkouts, and talented employees are harder to replace today than in the recent past as a result of the healthy economy. The best way to retain employees is to create a workplace in which they feel challenged, respected, and involved—and in which they feel that they alone are not shouldering most of the workload in busy times. Experts suggest involving employees in work-related decisions from the outset, making extra effort to choose the right person for the necessary tasks, allowing employees to choose when they will work any overtime that's necessary, and giving plenty of feedback. More frequent performance reviews—whether linked to a pay increase or not—are a good idea, too, especially for younger workers. Some are bonuses or employee ownership options, but if those are not available, some compensatory time off can let overworked employees know that you appreciate the extra efforts they've made and allow them to recapture their energy.

Subject Headings: Workspace | Personnel management | Employees |

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