Many employees struggle with burnout during the holidays. The increase in family obligations combined with year-end activities at work can leave many feeling pulled in too many directions. This can be especially true of millennials who are new to the workforce.
It is common for millennials to have additional tasks beyond work and family. They may be building a business on the side, volunteering with various organizations, and pursuing hobbies for professional or personal growth. Millennials have a habit of taking on a wide variety of personal obligations as well as maintaining their professional ones. And the onslaught of activity makes many feel stretched especially thin.
Millennials also feel financial pressures that weren’t typical for earlier generations. For example, student loan debt is a concern for many, and the previously poor economy may have made those issues even more real than they would have been otherwise. If you add the financial pressures associated with joining the workforce after (or during) one of the largest recessions experienced, and you have a recipe for disaster.
However, there are things you can do to help keep millennials focused without running the risk of burning them out.
Set Guidelines and Expectations
One of the easiest ways to support millennials in the workforce is to set clear guidelines and expectations. Often, this is a generation used to excessive feedback. By stating exactly what is expected in measurable terms (quantity, timelines, etc.) you give them a framework in which to operate. They know everything they need to do, but they also know whether a task can wait until tomorrow. This empowers them to manage their schedule without feeling pressured to over perform.
Make a Connection
To spot signs of an employee in distress, you often need only make a small inquiry regarding how they are doing. If you notice an employee seeming particularly stressed out, or have seen a change in their performance, try to start a conversation that allows any issues to be expressed.
For example, a simple “how was your weekend” might lead them to divulge they haven’t had the opportunity to take a break from their demands. While your ability to act on this information may vary, it can help guide your future requests made of the employee during a stressful time.
Aim for Motivation
Everyone is motivated a little different, but managers often have some options available to help keep employees engaged with at work. If an employee is showing signs of burnout, consider if there are any projects or assignments available that might be of personal interest to the employee. Alternatively, see if there are options that allow them to break away from the normal work-a-day routine.
Sometimes, just having an interesting change can help them refocus. It provides relief from a task that may have become troubling to manage or simply allows the brain to work in a different direction for a while.
The Bottom Line
Millennials face challenges unlike those of previous generations, and the risk of burnout among these professionals is especially high during the holidays.
If you are looking for more information about how to help your employees avoid burnout, the Squires Group is here to help. Contact the Squires Group today to see what we can do for your business.