9 Effective Ways to Reduce Staff Burnout

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We’ve all felt it before…

The feeling that there’s just not enough hours in the day and we’re drowning in a sea of uncompleted tasks and ever growing to-do lists.

Unfortunately, these feelings are often just a part of life and nearly unavoidable in the workplace. But what happens when common stress becomes something more serious?

Burnout can affect anyone in any job or industry. In fact, some of your employees or coworkers may be experiencing symptoms of it right now…

As a leader at your company, whether you’re the CEO or an entry-level supervisor, it’s imperative that you’re able to recognize the signs of burnout in those who work under you and help remedy the situation before it escalates into a serious problem.

But What Exactly is Burnout?

Defined as:

“Exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”

The term was first used by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974. Today, according to The American Institute of Stress, over a quarter of the U.S. workforce says they’ve experienced the symptoms.

It’s important to note that while many people believe stress and burnout to be interchangeable terms, they are different…

Stress is the feeling of “too much” – too much to do, too much pressure, etc. But burnout is characterized by feelings of “not enough” or emptiness. Those affected become emotionally exhausted, cynical and feel a loss of purpose and motivation. In extreme cases, they may even begin to feel a loss of hope.

Recognizing The Symptoms

Burnout is often hard to recognize because it happens over time. But according to Psychology Today, there are noticeable symptoms:

  • Chronic Fatigue: This is more than a lack of energy, but a feeling of complete physical and mental exhaustion, sometimes accompanied by feelings of dread.
  • Depression: Symptoms of depression can range from occasional feelings of sadness at the beginning, to severely low self-esteem and feelings of being trapped.
  • Anger: What may start as occasional irritability can quickly escalate into unprovoked rage leading to loud arguments and outbursts
  • Detachment: This is the desire for isolation and can manifest itself in the workplace as tardiness, calling in sick without cause, or completely neglecting duties all together.
  • A Lack of Focus: An inability to focus, a shortened attention span, or frequent forgetfulness are possible symptoms.
  • Physical Conditions: Chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or headaches can be indications as well. If any of your employees are experiencing such symptoms, they should be assessed by their doctor.

9 Steps To Decrease Team Burnout:

Now that we know what burnout looks like, what can we do to prevent it in the workplace?

Now that we know what burnout looks like, what can we do to prevent it in the workplace?

1. Discover The Cause:
First, you need to learn and understand what’s causing burnout in your employee(s)… Are they feeling overworked and underappreciated? Perhaps they don’t feel challenged by their duties or fairly compensated for the effort they put in.

Sometimes the cause is found in areas unrelated to the workplace. For example, tension in the home due to relationships, poor health of family members or continual financial struggles can lead to symptoms that may begin to seep into their job.

Encourage openness with your employees and in your workplace. The people who work for you should feel comfortable telling you what’s causing a dip in their productivity without the fear of rebuke or dismissal. Promote trust by allowing employees to be open about their mental, physical and emotional states.

2. Be Realistic:
You need to have realistic expectations. Even for superstar employees, there’s a limit to how much can be done in a single work day. And asking your employees to consistently put in overtime is not only unfair, but a sure path to severe mental fatigue.

Having realistic expectations is important to the health of your workplace and employees, but that in itself isn’t enough…

You also need to make sure that each employee clearly understand what you expect of them. If you don’t make this abundantly clear, they may think you expect more of them than you do and overwork themselves in order to please you and preserve their job.

3. Rest:
Related to our last point, do NOT require or expect employees to work in their off time. If you’re the founder of your company, you’ve poured so much of yourself into building your business: your time, energy, money… So it may be hard to imagine life outside of the office. But all work and no play can be quite unhealthy.

Encourage your employees to relax and pursue other interests in their off time. Support their individual dreams and goals. And while you’re at it, take some time off yourself! Hard work doesn’t mean constant work.

4. Working Environment:
The atmosphere you create is very important. Do your employees enjoy coming to work? Do they feel appreciated? If they don’t, their mental and emotional states may be at risk.

By creating an environment that fosters fun, creativity and community, you’ll also help develop a company culture of hard work and productivity. Happy employees work harder and get more done.

This should go without saying, but don’t micromanage your employees and NEVER guilt them into anything! They should feel free to accomplish their work without “the boss” hounding them or making them feel guilty for taking breaks.

5. Remember Your Why:
Another way to combat burnout in the workplace is to constantly reiterate to your team why you all do what you do. Remind your team of their passion for your product and customers and that the work they do is important.

Also, tell your team where you see the business in 3, 5, 10 years. Sharing your vision(s) with your employees not only helps them feel ownership of the project, but also gives them purpose.

6. Celebrate:
People get burned out when they feel like they aren’t getting any closer to their goals. By celebrating even the small wins, you and your team will taste success along the way and it will help propel you to the next goal.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to throw a party every time you get a new client or customer. But taking a moment to recognize success, big or small, will help your team feel productive and keep them motivated to achieve even greater things.

7. Education:
Teach your employees how to do their work well and provide them with the tools to succeed. Do they need to be educated on how your company handles specific scenarios? Is there a new software that will help your team secure more clients in less time?

Ensure your employees have the necessary resources so they can best accomplish the work that’s required of them. Repeated failure or mediocre work, especially when the employee feels helpless to correct it, will certainly take a toll on their mental and emotional health.

8. Team Building:
A strong team is essential to your company’s success and employees that enjoy being around each other are much more likely to do their best work and steer clear of burnout.

To help foster friendships between employees, consider a company retreat, signing you and your team up for a softball league, participating in local bike races, trying to escape the room or even just a night out on the town for dinner.

Building deeper relationships helps ensure your employees have more invested in the company than just a paycheck.

9. Be Mindful:
Keep an eye on those who work for you. If you start to see signs of burnout, have an open, honest discussion and work to remedy the situation immediately. It’s a lot less expensive to take care of your current employees than to find new ones.

Also, by educating your employees on the most common symptoms (the ones we talked about earlier) they’ll be able to help diagnose themselves.

———-

Burnout is increasingly common in the workplace and steps need to be taken to ensure a happy and productive workforce.

A company is only as good as its employees, so treat them with respect and create a positive working environment they can succeed in and enjoy coming to every day.

By being vigilant and aware of common burnout symptoms, you’ll increase employee loyalty and improve your business.

Advanced search and organization options

easy-galleriesAs your CleanPix library grows from just a couple hundred files to thousands or even tens of thousands of files, the time it takes to search, organize or access those files can increase as well.

CleanPix offers advanced search and organizational abilities to make it simple to find and select files for inclusion in your galleries and to make sure you have the right files ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Your account includes an inclusive select-all feature that works across multiple pages and between searches, a robust tagging system for rapid cross referencing and even reverse keyword search options to remove results that match a particular term.

Besides the basic keyword search which already uses your file’s metadata, you can also use the following advanced look-up syntax:
• title:“asset title” – Search for your term only within the title metadata
• tag:“tag name” – Search for files tagged with that name
• uploader:“uploader email” – Search for files uploaded by a specific account profile
• no:tags – Display all assets that have no tags yet assigned
• no:galleries – Display all assets that haven’t been assigned to a specific gallery

Check out these advanced search for yourself in your own account or contact us with any questions. We’re here to help!

Streamline media requests with authorized email!

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The team at CleanPix is constantly working on enhancing the usability and convenience of the service. We are happy to announce you can now save authorized emails and domains to automate your managed media requests.

Linking a managed gallery to your online press room is one of the fastest ways to enable visitors to view all of the great content you have available while maintaining control over who has download rights. CleanPix notifies you when a new request comes in and when you review and approve a request, CleanPix sends that user unique access to download those files.

Now, there is an even more convenient way to ensure that requests from trusted email domains automatically have access. Here’s how it works:

1) Add an authorized email to the list inside your account preferences
2) The user of that email then makes a media request as usual
3) CleanPix retains the information from the media request for your records and automatically sends an access link to download the request files

Please contact us  for more information about how your team can take advantage of this great new timesaving feature.

Are Social Media Influencers Right For Your Marketing Strategy?

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Marketing today is more complex than ever before. Social media influencers hold most of the power in sharing your brand message online. These influencers have large armies of followers that will like, retweet, share, reblog and comment on anything that they post. They are the people within your field of expertise that you wish you were.

Getting influencers to fall in love with your brand can be a very difficult task, which is why most brands turn to offering cash to influencers in exchange for publicity via an influencer’s social channels. These influencers have built a brand on creating good content, so the trade-off can be a huge win-win for both parties.

When approaching an influencer, come armed with suggestions for how you would ideally like them to promote your brand, but be prepared for them to say no. Also prepare to open your wallet. The top influencers don’t come cheap.

Selena Gomez is currently the internet’s top social media influencer. The estimated costs of a social media post across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is over $500,000. Selena has over 180,000,000 followers and gains an average of 200,000 more every 24 hours, proving the power of the Selena Gomez brand.

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Coca-Cola sponsored post on Selena Gomez’ Instagram

Your brand likely doesn’t have millions to invest in sponsored posts via celebrity accounts, but there are several online agencies that can connect you to local social influencers who will share your message at a fraction of the cost, or sometimes in exchange for free product. If your organization is looking to connect with digital influencers to tell your brand story, there are several online companies to look into. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Tap Influence
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Socialyte
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Viral Nation
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Influencer marketing is an increasingly valuable tactic in reaching your online marketing goals as part of a fully-developed marketing strategy. Influencers can give your brand authentic exposure and link to your website, resulting in amazing SEO value. By placing emphasis on creating authentic connections with the public, you will be setting your company up for long-term success.

Giving Back

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Giving back to our communities is a cornerstone of our company values. We believe in bettering the places we work and do business and making an impact wherever we go.

Our VP International Business Development, Chip Hoffman, spent the day with Global Community Engagement (GCE) yesterday at the Health Village Learning Institute McKeesport in Pittsburgh. Yesterday’s initiative began a 5-day paper-making workshop with at-risk youth.

The final results from the workshop will be on display as part of a youth component to the photography exhibit Goddesses of Nature exhibition at Chatham University on October 27, 2016.

Free Template Download: Digital Metrics Report

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Whether tweeting out polls about your product lineup, sharing new blog posts on Facebook or uploading customer testimonials to YouTube, it’s important to be able to prove the measurable results of your strategies.

If you aren’t already creating weekly reports, or if the weekly reports you currently create are lacking in substance, it might be time for an overhaul. The best way to create allies and win over key stakeholders outside the marketing department is by being prepared with numbers and stats to back up your successes and growth points.

At this point in time, most companies are using digital marketing as the main driver for their business, but most mid-sized companies are still doing so without monitoring these initiatives with regular digital reporting.

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Whether your department has a strategy in place or not, this report will help with benchmarking to compare where you are now to where you want to be in the future. This template covers website activity tracking, social media tracking and relates it all to your company revenue. With automatic conversion rate formulas already populated in the document, we’ve taken a lot of the guesswork out of discovering which information is most relevant in making key marketing budget decisions.

With our comprehensive report template, you will be able to show and prove ROI, make informed decisions and look like a seasoned metrics reporting pro. Download yours for free here.

5 Reasons We Love Houston

When you think of Houston, you more than likely think of big oil, hot summers and western attire. But the truth is, Houston has become a cultural cosmopolitan hub in the South. We’re in Houston this week (until the 25th) for the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference. We love this vibrant city so much, we’ve compiled the best reasons to put Houston on your list of cities to check out in 2016.

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  1. Houston is number 1 for job creation in the United States
    By quite a bit, actually. If you’re looking for an amazing city to grow and build a career in, Houston is certainly one of the best places to do it!

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2. Incredible restaurants
Houston is home to more amazing restaurants than you’ll have time to visit, featuring cuisine from around the globe. Some of the hottest restaurants to check out right now are: B&B Butchers, Biskit Junkie, Foreign Correspondents, Ginger & Fork and Helen Greek Food & Wine.

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3. Houston is the most ethnically diverse city in the United States.
Yes, you read that correctly. Even more diverse than the metropolitan regions of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and San Francisco.

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4. Houston is home to several world-class museums and cultural landmarks.
A few to check out when you’re in town: Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Natural Science, Holocaust Museum, Contemporary Arts Museum, The Health Museum and The Menil Collection.

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5. Beyoncé is from Houston. What further reason do you need!?
In her words: “I always come back during Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Houston Rodeo.

My favourite places to eat are Frenchy’s Chicken, This Is It and Pappadeaux. I shop at The Galleria.

I love Houston. Some of the best moments of my life took place there. This will always be home to me!” – B