Pandemic or not, no one wants exhausted, overworked or overwhelmed employees. And we’ve all been there, right? I have a client who often tells me about her late nights, days filled with conference calls and never-ending revisions from her leadership team. She always jokingly laughs it off: “Just another day in crazy town!” But, even with our support, she’s always behind on her to-do list and feels like she’s not able to give 100%.

My client is like so many employees right now—feeling stretched thin and just plain tired. Here is where you—the employee communication professional—comes in. Implement these tactics to help prevent employee burnout:

1. Create space for listening
When employees are overwhelmed, they want to feel heard. As a communicator, you have an opportunity to provide platforms for employees to share their concerns and frustrations. For example, at the next big meeting you plan, create smaller breakout sessions and ask employees what is on their minds. Capture everything and provide it to leaders so they can follow up directly with their teams on what was shared.

2. Encourage participation in wellness programs
Wellness programs can provide the emotional, physical and mental support employees need right now. You can help make sure employees know what’s available to them. Start by creating a communication campaign, which could include a monthly wellness newsletter, a dedicated page on your intranet and learning sessions. Take a bold approach and create a video series featuring employees who share their wellness success stories.

3. Empower managers
When employees need help or guidance, the first place they will go is to their managers. However, managers aren’t always equipped to help. Partner with HR to set managers up for success. Host workshops on how to identify burnout, communicate effectively, set clear expectations and ensure employees feel supported. Create a toolkit as a takeaway so managers can reference important information when they need it most.

4. Remind leaders to say “thank you”
A little recognition goes a long way, especially during stressful times. Maybe it seems like a no-brainer, but when work gets hectic, it’s often the first thing to drop off a to-do list. Send a monthly email to remind leaders of the importance of recognition and include tips to recognize employees in simple and easy ways.

Burnout is real and impacts employees in many different ways. With effective communication techniques, you have the power to show employees that your company can and will help.

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