Business process outsourcing (BPO) offers a path for you to alleviate employee burnout in a number of ways. Not sure what BPO can do to protect your employees? Keep reading to discover the answers!
Managers often talk about times they need employees to give that extra 10%, but what if the employees are completely out of energy?
Employee burnout is something that can happen to even your best workers. Many businesses (especially smaller businesses) depend on their best workers for their continued success. All it takes is burnout among a few of your biggest employee rockstars to damage the productivity and overall bottom line of your entire business.
What is Employee Burnout?
Employee burnout is when your employee has exhausted the last of their inner resources to achieve your goals, plus their own goals, and no longer feels energized and engaged enough to give you the same amount of dedication.
Everyone has seen employee burnout at least once (even if it was just in your own mirror). What is the functional definition of burnout in the workplace? Sometimes, burnout is a matter of having little to no energy left. When your employees are exhausted, they won’t be able to put in anything close to their best performance on the job.
Other times, burnout takes the form of an employee who develops a bad attitude and/or cynicism toward their workplace. Regardless of energy level, this can happen to employees who feel like they never have any real opportunities to challenge themselves or grow their careers.
That goes hand-in-hand with another potential element of burnout: Employees feeling mentally disconnected from their jobs. It’s a bit like the phrase, “Your body is here, but your mind is a million miles away.” You can tell this kind of burnout is happening when employees seem slow, unproductive, and generally disconnected from their bosses and colleagues.
Finally, burnout may simply manifest as a reduction in the employee’s productivity or the quality of their work. Some employees like to put on a brave face despite how they are feeling. When you notice employee performance slipping, though, especially among your best employees, then burnout is most likely to blame.
COVID Makes Employee Burnout Worse
We often talk about how disruptive COVID-19 has been in our personal lives. After all, years of living in a pandemic have been stressful for just about everyone. But have you ever stopped and considered how COVID has made employee burnout worse in many ways?
This is due to a combination of work and home factors. When it comes to the workplace, many employees worked remotely during the pandemic, even if it was for relatively brief periods of time. Some employees really enjoy remote work, but others had challenges at home (like dealing with children who were remote learning) that effectively split their attention.
Additionally, the shift to a work-from-home model had a negative impact on some employees’ productivity and performance. The reason for this is simple: Your workers value things like clear, simple communication and opportunities to be individually recognized for their contributions. So when communication became mostly emails and workers stopped seeing their bosses, many of them felt more disconnected from work than ever before.
Now you know what employee burnout is and how COVID made everything worse. Let’s take a closer look at business process outsourcing and how it can help with burnout.
What Is Business Process Outsourcing?
Business process outsourcing is exactly what it sounds like: a process by which you outsource different company procedures to a third party.
BPO has historically been very popular among smaller to midsized businesses. That’s because there are hard limits to what a smaller business can do with its narrow pool of employees. Thanks to BPO, though, these workplaces can outsource their needs to experts in their industry.
We generally split BPO into two categories: “back office” BPO refers to responsibilities that keep the company going but don’t typically involve customer interaction (responsibilities like HR, accounting, payment processing, IT, and so on). Meanwhile, “front office” BPO refers to public-facing responsibilities, such as sales, customer service, technical support, and so on.
Long story short? BPO can help provide whatever your business needs that frees up your core employees. Now, let’s dive more into how BPO can alleviate employee burnout.
BPO Reduces Stress
The biggest cause of employee burnout can be summed up in one word: stress. Sometimes, an employee may be feeling stress at home and bringing it into the workplace. Other times, responsibilities on the job can be causing stress or making it worse, especially during busy “crunch” periods.
Regardless of what is causing the stress, it impacts employee performance. Keep in mind that no worker can simply “turn off” stress, so it sits in the background of the workers’ minds the entire time they are at work.
How does effective BPO help with stress? First of all, BPO provides an extra set of hands to handle certain responsibilities. This means your in-house employees don’t have to pile so much additional work onto their plates, naturally reducing stress.
When BPO has your back, it’s easier for employees to take the regular breaks they need to rest and recharge their minds. For example, not having to cut lunch breaks short or stay long hours after work can provide what your workers have been longing for: peace of mind.
BPO Provides an Extended Support Network
Obviously, there are some pretty big differences between our jobs and our lives. But they have something surprisingly important in common: We all need and depend on an extended support network.
At home, a support network includes family and friends. When we experience stress or anxiety or simply need someone to help out with what we are going through, that support network is there for us.
Employees want to have such a support network at work as well. The biggest element of that support is when employees have the support and confidence of managers and other supervisors. Unfortunately, when there are too many responsibilities for managers and workers alike, then management may not be able to provide the support employees need.
Once again, BPO offers a way for you to get more help with both front-office and back-office responsibilities. This frees up your managers to do what they do best: offer support and encouragement to your different teams. Knowing that management has their back like this can seriously reduce employee burnout.
Protect Your Best Assets with BPO
Pop quiz: Who do you think is most likely to experience burnout on the job?
Of course, burnout is something that can happen to any of your employees. However, it typically affects your best employees first. We naturally give more responsibilities and tougher challenges to our best workers because we “know” they can handle it.
Oftentimes, nobody (including rockstar employees) realizes they can’t handle all of this until they try to handle too many things at once. At this point, your best workers can suddenly shift into a funk of burnout like a rubber band that has snapped.
With BPO, you can protect your best workplace assets and avoid overloading them. In fact, BPO allows you to move more of your rockstar workers into training roles so they can share their secrets of success with more workers.
Give Employees Continuous Training Opportunities
As we noted before, one of the bigger causes of employee burnout is when employees think a job has become a career dead end for them. When they see no room for advancement and have no opportunities to learn any new skills, they may start wondering why they are even coming to work each morning.
With BPO, you don’t just free up room on your employees’ plates. You also free up room on management’s plate. That means that you can offer continuous training opportunities to employees. Such opportunities will help them eventually move on to other roles in your organization.
Basically, BPO gives you a chance to offer more training and, therefore, more upward mobility to employees. This powerful incentive helps to reduce burnout.
Opportunities for Employee Growth
The next benefit of BPO goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. When you do BPO right, it frees up room in your budget to offer more advancement opportunities for your workers.
Some managers and CEOs worry about the cost of BPO. However, you can use BPO to handle various responsibilities at a fraction of the cost of hiring a team and paying their full salaries and benefits.
In the short term and the long term, BPO can really boost your bottom line. In the long term, not having to make additional hires for these responsibilities means you can offer more advancement to existing staff. When employees truly see a better future in working for you, they are less likely to experience burnout.
Fight Employee Burnout with BPO Today
Now you know how business process outsourcing can help fight employee burnout, but do you know where to find the BPO that you and your employees deserve?
Here at Confie, we understand BPO and how to use it to meet your every need. To discover what we can do for your business, all you have to do is give us a call at 800-684-2BPO (2276) or contact us today!