Sofia Graniello
September 11, 2023
min read
People & Culture

10 Tips to Enhance Employee Productivity Without Burning Them Out

Have you checked upon your top performers lately? 


Then, do it the right way. That's because long work hours, hectic schedules, and pressure to achieve high targets can burn out your people pretty badly. In fact, the University of Cambridge states that companies are losing their top-performing employees due to high stress and exhaustion. Thus, if you don't want to lose your loyal and hard-working employees to stress, you have to make some efforts to keep employees happy and satisfied. 

But that's easier to say than done. There are so many things that are driving your top-performers towards burnout today, such as;

  • Performance competition 
  • New work environment 
  • Overburden and pressure 
  • Company culture, etc. 

👉 Does that mean you should not motivate your employees to perform better? 👈

Well, no. It is important to create a competitive environment in your organization to motivate your employees to work harder. But, you have to find a fine balance between burnout and high productivity to retain your human assets. It might sound difficult right now, but if you identify early signs of burnout and help your employees become stress-free, boosting employees' productivity will get easier. 

So, let's dig in to understand how to boost employee productivity without burning them out. 

🤩 Quick Tips to Improve Employee Productivity 

Productive employees are one of the biggest assets for companies. They help to close deals faster and offer a high-quality customer experience. But companies often put too much competitive pressure on their top performers that it derails their performance. They start to feel stressed about their work, leading to poor performance. 

Thus, it is a challenge for HR leaders to improve employee productivity without burning them out. Here are a few tips that can help you improve employee productivity and control burnout

Quick tips to imoprove employee productivity

1. HR leadership should define performance expectations 

One of the prominent reasons behind employee burnout is not having adequate skills and knowledge to perform a task. In addition, when an employer puts an excessive workload on an employee than he or she can handle, it can lead to burnout and poor productivity.

Therefore, the HR department should adopt an inclusive leadership style and make employees aware of their expectations right from the beginning. They should inform employees on the hiring table what they are expected to do in the organization and which skills they should possess to work in the company. 

If there is a scope of change in the job role, you should tell employees before hiring them. For example, suppose you have a plan to take your workforce remotely in the near future. In that case, you should mention this before hiring a new employee and ensure that they have proper communication skills to work in both remote and hybrid work environments. This will help to improve the candidate experience

2. Create employee mentor programs

Company culture is an important factor influencing employee engagement. When your employees feel more connected in the organization, they will automatically feel less pressured. Therefore, you should launch a mentorship program in your organization where top-performers can help low-performers improve their productivity. 

Under a mentorship program, you can pair top and low performers together to provide career advancement opportunities to low-performers. This will allow top performers to understand the intellectual level and mindset of low performers to help them become more productive. This way, low-performers will not feel pressured as they can receive real-time feedback to improve their productivity. 

Personalized career advancement is extremely important for modern organizations to improve employee productivity without burnout. In fact, 37% of HR leaders advocate that their organization should have a personalized career training program.

🔥 Article pick: How are feedback and productivity co-related?

3. Use incentives and perks 

Extra incentives and perks can motivate employees to take on the extra workload. You can revise your incentive and perk policy to make your employees more productive. When you are planning to impose more duties on your employees, you should provide them with some additional benefits that can compensate for all the hard work that they have to do. For example, if you want employees to stay back to complete some additional work, you can offer them transportation facilities or bonuses in return. You should consult your employees before revising your incentive plans. This way, you can offer benefits that your employees actually want. For instance, recent remote working stats reveals that 71% of employees want to work remotely rather than get promotions. 

4. Give employees autonomy and control

If you want your employees to work effectively, you have to give them some control. You cannot expect your employees to perform better when you constantly monitor their every move and provide them with constant guidance. Give some freedom to your employees to set their meeting schedules, working hours, etc. That's because every person feels productive at different times. For instance, many people are night owls and prefer to work at night, and in contrast, some feel more productive during the daytime. Thus, if you allow your employees to set their work schedules, they can do more work without feeling burnt out

5. Dual feedback channel

Another important tip to reduce employee burnout and improve productivity is establishing a dual feedback channel in your organization. You should make regular attempts to receive real-time feedback from your employees to know when they feel pressured or unmotivated. This way, you can make quick attempts to improve your employees' productivity and release some of their burdens. In addition, you can use employee surveys to gather anonymous productivity-related data. Besides receiving feedback from employees, you should also provide timely feedback to them. This will help employees to self-improve their performance and know when their productivity is going down.

6. Organize social activities to encourage team bonding

Team bonding activities help to build an empowered work environment. Organizing social activities can improve peer relationships in your organization. This, in return, will improve trust and coordination among your team members. When your team works and plays together, they will feel less work pressure and learn to share their burden. 

7. Transparency in pay structure 

Ensure to follow a transparent pay structure in your organization. For this, you should study the prevailing pay structure in your industry and create a remuneration structure in your organization. According to 2022 Hourly Workers Compensation Expectations Report, one-third of employees are unsatisfied with their pay structure.

8. Review your internal communication channels

Effective internal communication systems are also important to improve employee productivity. Especially if you work from home, it is important to provide a proper communication channel to your employees. You should create a proper communication hierarchy so that employees know whom they should contact in which situation. 

Unclear and messy communication flow can confuse employees, leading to burnout

9. Use tools to monitor performance 

Automation is extremely important to measure your employee experience and performance in modern organizations. Using tools, you can easily compare the performance of your individual team member. This way, you can easily know which employee is burnt out and needs help from you.

Today, automation has increased a lot in the human resource department. According to recent recruitment stats, 29% of more HR leaders are using ATS and HRIS tools this year. 

10. Learn employee burnout signs

Do you know how burnt out employees look? No, you should learn employee burnout signs today so you can easily pinpoint exhausted and tired employees in your organization. This way, you can take preventive measures faster and prevent your top-performance from quitting their job. Here are some signs that you might see in a burnt-out employee:

  • Depression
  • Exhaustion 
  • Taking too many sick leaves
  • Poor customer reviews 
  • Mistakes
Stress Curve
Source: EveryBody in Mind Wellness Center

✨ Parting Thoughts 

Productivity and burnout are two sides of the same coin. Your productive workflow can easily flip into a chaotic and stressful environment if you are not careful. 

Thus, HR managers have to design employee productivity activities carefully. They should push employees to work harder, but not to the point where they break. The best practice here is to communicate with your employees and constantly monitor their performance to save them from burnout. 

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