The high stakes and long hours around year-end can take a toll and cause burnout for even the most hardworking, persevering finance department.
For weeks, A/P is busy verifying vendor information and finalizing 1099s. Payroll is double-checking IRS instructions and prepping W-2s. And that’s all while managing their normal workload, too, which can lead to serious burnout and stress for your whole department.
A constant concern
Unfortunately, this workplace burnout isn’t specific to the few months surrounding year-end. Nearly a quarter (23%) of employees feel burned out at work very often or always, while another 44% feel burned out sometimes, according to Gallup.
Whether it’s during year-end or the dog days of summer, you know burnout can have a big impact on your department’s productivity – and in turn, the bottom line. When burnout rears its ugly head, morale dips, mental and physical health take a hit, and overall efficiency dwindles.
As the leader of this crucial department, you want to avoid burnout as much as possible. Check out four strategies from the accounting specialists at Centreviews to reduce workplace burnout:
1. Be realistic
Your finance department may have staffers who are guilty of perfectionism. And while it’s good to have big goals, setting standards too high at an unrealistic level can lead to dissatisfaction and burnout.
That’s why you’ll want to make sure your department sets practical and attainable goals. That could include anything from software implementation and user adoption to error rates and annual discount capture. When staffers reach goals and gain a sense of accomplishment, they’ll be more motivated to keep working hard.
2. Endorse good recordkeeping
To ensure smooth operations, A/P, A/R and Payroll must be able to access the right information quickly. That encompasses not only payment data and banking details but things like notes from collections calls or project meetings.
So, make sure your staffers apply those great organizational skills of theirs to recordkeeping. It’ll make their job so much easier anytime they need to resolve issues or make important decisions. When things run smoothly, burnout is less likely, Centreviews explains.
3. Mix it up
There’s no denying that some Finance tasks are repetitive and mundane. And doing the same things over and over can lead to burnout.
To combat this, encourage your staff to group similar tasks together and schedule them for different days of the week. Spacing out tedious tasks and mixing in strategic or group work breaks things up and creates variety so your folks don’t get burned out or bored.
4. Help staff develop a thick skin
Finance often takes the brunt of the heat when issues arise. Your department is no stranger to annoyed employees or frustrated customers, and these interactions can be draining.
Still, staffers must stay positive as they work through customer service issues. So, advise them to take a few minutes before tackling issues to prepare and get in the right frame of mind. This can lead to better outcomes, Centreviews says. When staffers pause and reflect, they won’t act rashly and will be more rational in handling situations.
And it also helps to continually remind your staffers that everyone’s doing their best and they shouldn’t take things personally. With this outlook, staffers will be able to work through issues sensibly – and then move on.