From Burnout to Balance: Tips on How to Empower Employees to Thrive

Nearly every industry is affected by rising expectations – amongst consumers, executives, managers, and the like. This shift has not only changed the way we work but also how organizations respond to the very related, rising attrition challenges many organizations face today. While 2020-2022 introduced the terminology “quiet quitting,” a trend aptly named on the basis of employees putting in the minimum effort to keep their jobs but don’t go a step outside of that for their employers, 2023 and beyond should be dedicated to ensuring that employees are thriving and have never been happier.

It’s no secret that the hardest parts of the pandemic had everyone – from CEOS and business executives to teachers and stay-at-home parents, to the full-time working parent, turned teacher and the in-between, feeling burned out and out-of-balance. As the working world has shifted focus to trying to return to somewhat a new normalcy, organizations are honing in – answering the question, how do we get our business and our employees thriving again?

Employee Experience a Top Priority

In 2022, there was a drastic change in percentage of employees willing to support organizational changes, dropping to just 38%, down from 2016’s 74% of employees willing to support. In turn, this change fatigue is now a top priority with 47% of HR leaders emphasizing the need for a refocused emphasis on employee experience in 2023.

Burnout and a sense of imbalance have become pervasive issues, leading to the trend of quiet quitting and general dissatisfaction and disengagement at work, and employers are taking notice – shifting their strategies from just retaining employees to ensuring their genuine well-being and ability to thrive within the organization. Yes, there’s a renewed sense of employee empowerment and creating an environment where employees can flourish both personally and professionally, but what does this next step in cultivating the ultimate employee experience begin and more importantly, how?

Reimagining the Employee Experience

Gone are the days of an organizational promise of an every so often pizza lunch or the occasional work from home keeping employees satisfied. Today’s thriving work cultures are at the core of empowering employees. This starts with open communication and genuine concern for well-being. Organizations must actively listen to their employees, acknowledge their challenges, and support their aspirations. Regular check-ins, employee surveys, and focus groups can provide valuable insights to what employees truly need, but it’s up to the company to improve their experience.

How to Empower Employees

Empowering employees to thrive requires more than just listening – it requires a comprehensive approach, rooted in a deep understanding of the physical, emotional, and professional well-being of the employee. Key strategies to cultivate the ultimate employee experience can include:

  • Flexibility – Providing remote work options, flexible working hours and accommodating personal needs demonstrates trust, and respect for employees’ constant juggling act of work versus personal life. Flexibility allows employees to manage their responsibilities more effectively, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
  • Simplifying – There’s an unspoken truth to many jobs – there’s just not enough hours in the day to do it well. But imagine a scenario where you are able to simplify the employee experience – accelerate training, embrace self-service opportunities, increase efficiency, and ensure consistency. Complexity, technology, and employee happiness can co-exist and do not have to be mutually exclusive.
  • Embracing Technology – We live in a world where technology can revolutionize the way an organization does business with its customers. It’s time we utilize technology to enhance all experiences – from the customer to the employee. In a true human plus digital experience, processes improve, while people become empowered and satisfied.
  • Prioritizing Professional/Personal Development – Investing in employee growth and development not only enhances skills, but also showcases the organization values their career and personal advancement. Open up the lines of communication, offer opportunities for upskilling and nurture the potential of each employee and see the organizational culture really flourish.

Moving from burnout to balance and empowering employees to thrive requires a concerted effort from organizations and leadership. Organizations now find themselves at the cusp of a spectacular comeback story – implementing a strategy that requires due-diligence, embracing of technology, prioritization, and flexibility to come back in a post-pandemic world stronger than ever. Imagine a scenario where quiet quitting quietly went away, and employees went from burnout to balance with the help of their employer, rather an alternative variant? While it may seem too far off, with the right strategy and help, it can be achieved.

Guest blog post written by HGS.

Want to learn more about how to improve the employee experience throughout the agent life cycle? Join HGS on Wednesday September 20th at 12:30 pm during CRS Nashville to hear Akilah Hodge speak on Improving EX in a Remote Workforce.