Say No to Burnout and Create a People First, Human Capital Strategy.

AdminAssist November 16, 2020
7-minute read
Woman looking out window with laptop

Workplace burnout is defined as emotional and physical exhaustion due to a stressful job. It can manifest as poor productivity, impatience with co-workers and customers, headaches, and an inability to sleep, and a general inability to perform tasks. Unfortunately, burnout is very common. It occurs especially in industries that are service-oriented, like healthcare or staffing & recruitment. When your team is focused on meeting the needs of others, it can be difficult to take care of yourself.

Thankfully, there’s a lot that companies can do to prevent burnout. Deloitte found that 77% of employees have experienced burnout due to job-related stress. But with a cohesive human capital strategy in place, your staffing & recruitment agency can stave off burnout and help people find work-life balance again.

There’s a Big ROI on Reducing Burnout

It’s worth pointing out that burnout has a negative impact on productivity. This means that your agency’s bottom line is affected when employees feel burnt out. If you need help pitching mental health initiatives to the upper executives, just explain the ROI benefits. For SMBs that make about $3 million in revenue per annum, even just a 15-minute increase in daily productivity could generate upwards of $90k in additional revenue.

The financial benefits don’t stop there. Employees who experience burnout are more likely to get sick and potentially quit their job. This would mean a costly recruitment process to replace them. A human capital strategy can help retain great people so that your business stays productive and profitable.


female worker looking out window


Start by Tracking Employees’ Hours Closely

It’s not necessary to track their daily workflow on a minute-by-minute basis. Instead, focus on the long-term. Are they using their vacation time? One study shows that 52% of Americans don’t use all their vacation days. Make sure you run a report at the end of each year to see who is not taking time off. Encourage your team to take their hard-earned vacation! Time off is great for mental health, creativity, and productivity.

This also goes for work-life balance, especially for remote workers. It is crucial that managers set an example for the rest of the team: keep a consistent work schedule, and don’t work off hours. Of course, sometimes you’ll need people to put in extra hours when a big project is on the line. But don’t let this become a regular occurrence. Leadership must be very clear that staying late at night does not make someone a great employee. Instead, set up a work culture where self-care and work-life balance are more respected than mindless burnout.

Audit Job Descriptions & Managerial Styles

Burnout is not only a result of a challenging job. It can also be the outcome of an unclear job description or a harmful managerial style. Your human capital strategy should include regular audits of job descriptions. Is it clear what the employee is responsible for on a daily basis? Are there realistic expectations in place for their performance? Does their manager support them in achieving their goals? Writing everything out is very important. This allows an employee to go back and review their responsibilities without needing to set up a meeting with their manager.

Make sure to consider the overall culture at your company. It could be worth hiring an external consultant to evaluate your workplace. They can help spot dysfunctional behaviors, like a bullying coworker or a micromanaging boss. Keep an eye out for people who are either incredibly bored or highly overstimulated. Both of these can lead to burnout, as it takes far more energy to stay focused in these situations.


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See Your People as Temporary Guests

Ultimately, your employees may not stick around with the agency forever. They’re building their careers and it’s okay for them to move on. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid investing in them. When people feel free to explore new paths, they are free to grow. The more you allow people to grow within your organization, the more likely it is that they’ll stay with your company. But even if someone’s career takes them away from your business, you can be proud that you offered an environment that supported their professional development.

Word will spread that you run a supportive and balanced workplace. Today’s workers are passionate about work-life balance, and they understand the connection between workplace stress and personal health more than ever before. By establishing a cohesive human capital strategy, you can set your business apart from the rest. Your agency can become a destination for forward-thinking, hard-working people who want a business that takes care of them.

Remember, You Work with Real Humans

It’s easy to get laser-focused on numbers when you’re creating a strategic plan for your agency. But as every seasoned CEO knows, a human capital strategy needs to be flexible enough to respond to changing circumstances. After all, your business is made of real people. You serve real people, too.

Your plan should include the basics, like professional development and vacation days, as well as things that are specific to your industry. Take into account the working environment and staff relationships. Communicate this plan with your team so they understand your intentions and obligations.

Finally, leave some room for grace in your strategy. Treat staff and customers like you’d want to be treated, and it will come back to you tenfold. Sometimes you just need to take the day off! It doesn’t make you a worse employee. Lead by example and talk about mental health issues in the workplace. Start conversations with other companies about reducing burnout for the good of the industry.

If you’re a burnt-out CEO, one way to reduce anxiety is to outsource your accounting. This can reduce your risk of fraud and increase productivity by taking a load off your internal accountant. AdminAssist is ready to help your agency thrive by putting people at the center of your business.