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What is intelligent planning and how can it reduce team burnout?
Burnout should be a concern for all companies, and finding solutions should be a top priority. Learn how Intelligent Planning can help prevent it.
It used to be thought that employee burnout was a personal issue that had to be solved out of working hours. Either with exercise, relaxation techniques, or by getting more sleep.
However, the reality is that the problem lies in the organization and not the people who work within it.
Instead of telling your workers to figure it out themselves and cause more stress in their lives, companies should start taking action to prevent burnout. There are many strategies out there for this, like team building events, or providing free lunch and other benefits.
Many have not yet realized that one quick and efficient way is by selecting the perfect tool. A tool that uses Intelligent planning can both focus on performance while at the same time always keeping in mind your teams' wellbeing.
What is burnout and why is it important?
According to World Health Organization, burnout is defined as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
The WHO categorizes burnout by three dimensions:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion:
- Increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism
- Reduced professional efficacy
For some, burnout is used in many different contexts, however, in this case, it only applies to the professional environment, or in other words, in the workplace or during working activities.
Why should you care about employee burnout?
Burnout is not only about your employees' mental and physical wellbeing, it can also drastically affect your company. Some of the consequences your business may suffer from are:
A drastic reduction of productivity:
There’s an abundance of studies that prove the importance of employee wellbeing on their productivity. For example, one done by Deloitte found that 91% of respondents stated that experiencing an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration negatively impacted the quality of their work.
Experience a high turnover rate:
As employees are not satisfied with where they work, the likelihood of wanting to switch jobs increases. It’s found that 46% of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to half of annual workforce turnover. This can have a pretty severe impact on not only your company's performance but your reputation as well.
Increase in company costs:
As you can imagine, the fact that your team is less productive or more likely to leave increases your overall company costs. Research from the Center for American Progress found that companies were spending between 16% to 213% of an employee’s salary when trying to find a replacement.
What is Intelligent planning?
Intelligent planning is the process of using artificial intelligence to automatically plan your team, making their workload and schedules more efficient. What this means is that you completely remove the guessing when it comes to delegating and managing projects.
With the use of intelligence, all you need to do is define the skills required and the effort needed to perform a specific task. Then, the best plan of action will be calculated depending on the desired deadline. This also takes into consideration your team members and their availability.
Some of the benefits of using intelligent planning are:
- Removes timewasters from your teams' schedule
- Maximizes resources available when completing a project
- Helps successfully tackle any unexpected changes
5 ways automatic planning can reduce burnout
Improve communication within your overall business
Lack of proper communication is one of the main culprits for high employee turnover. Around 80% of the US workforce reported feeling stressed because of ineffective company communication.
It should be no surprise that communication is a key factor not only in employee wellbeing but also for overall performance. Poor communication means that objectives, goals and even tasks are not well distributed within the organization. Which leads individuals to feel lost and uncertain.
Not only, but lack of proper communication can become costly. More than 50% of employees stated that they have witnessed the financial toll that poor communication can have. This included missed sales or compromised company reputation.
With Intelligent Planning, you can store all important information, updates, projects, tasks in one place. No matter the stakeholder, each member will have access to what is important for them to keep a steady performance.
Not only, whenever a change happens to a plan, everyone that may be affected by it will be notified straight away. Work schedules will be automatically changed and prioritised, as well, if necessary.
There will be no need to have an overbearing amount of emails or meetings to ensure that the whole team is on the same page. Each team member will only need to focus on whats been attributed to them. If anyone has any delay, they just have to mention it to the intelligent planning system and the rest of the team will be notified and rescheduled accordingly.
Responsibilities and roles are well defined
One of the main causes of burnout in organizations is the lack of role clarity, which then leads to role conflict. It’s important that employees have a clear understanding of their tasks, responsibilities and process at work.
When we speak of role clarity, it’s not only about understanding their own position in the team or company but everyone else's as well. By having a good understanding of what each person is there to do, you avoid confusion and stress which can essentially impact productivity.
Apart from the discomfort, you force your workers to be in, lack of role clarity reduces the possibility of accountability. This is both in regards to employees receiving feedback from managers and managers' perception of their team.
Studies have shown that over 80% of managers are aware that they have limited to no ability to hold others accountable successfully. While, at the same time 91% of employees felt that effectively holding others accountable was one of the main leadership issues withing their company.
As members don’t fully understand what their responsibilities are, it’s no surprise that accountability is an issue. How can they own up to something if they didn’t know it was their problem in the first place? The same goes in regards to managers, if it’s not clear to them what each team members role is, how can they provide insightful feedback or guide them to a better work performance?
With Intelligent planning roles and responsibilities are set from the start. By providing the software with each team member, their position, and their skill set, you’ll know exactly what each one brings of value. Even better, the intelligent planning algorithm can assign tasks to your team members depending on this information. For example, it will never assign a tech task to a content writer. Instead, it will find the right individual with the perfect skill set and availability to complete tasks in time, every time.
Reduces the necessity for working after hours
It should be pretty obvious for most that overworking is a significant cause of burnout. Actually, it's considered to be the single largest risk factor for occupational disease. Long working hours is defined as working 55 hours or more per week and studies have shown how it increases mortality rates all over the world.
Overworking leads to two major problems, one is the biological toll of chronic stress. This can lead to elevated blood pressure and cholesterol. Then you have the negative behavior changes, like reducing sleep, exercise and adopting an unhealthy eating habit.
In one study, it was found that 82% of respondents said they were overworked, which resulted in high burnout rates. The main positions that experienced burnout one or more times were tech workers with 80% of them and marketers with 74%.
With an intelligent planning algorithm, you can ensure that your team is never working more than their specified working hours. Only if they want to, of course. How can we be so sure of this? With intelligent planning, all tasks and projects will be scheduled depending on the availability of each team member.
By adding the amount of effort or time it takes to complete tasks, the algorithm will then be able to assign timelines by analysing previous work performance. What this means is if your team takes a week to complete a project, the algorithm will assume that it takes at least that amount of time for the next project. It provides realistic deadlines for each member of your team.
Help your team stay happy by never letting them take work home or stay in the office for longer hours than needed.
Improves management and leadership
Leaders can play a significantly important role in reducing the rate of burnout within their teams. Unfortunately, it was found that only 18% of leaders felt confident in their abilities to make a positive impact in helping their team members.
Bad leadership and management can also play a role in increasing burnout within a company. Leaders should be individuals who not only guide their team to success but also are empathetic enough to feel their struggles. This can be in regards to tasks and responsibilities or even going through tough personal situations.
Bad leaders have been described as badmouthing and undermining their teams, playing favourites and having the main focus of proving themselves right above all else. The worst trait is the failure to communicate clear expectations which were cited by 58% of respondents in a study done by The Predictive Index.
Having a negative relationship or feelings towards your superior can increase stress in the workplace, which once again leads to burnout. By using intelligent planning, most conflicts can be easily eliminated.
As mentioned previously, with Intelligent planning you can easily define each person's roles and responsibilities. Meaning that leaders will have one less issue to deal with. They can also more easily track what each member is doing and provide feedback on how they can improve their abilities.
Providing praise to your team is crucial for their self-confidence. By knowing exactly who achieved what you can take the time to show appreciation for their milestones. Companies with effective recognition programs have 31% lower voluntary turnover which reduces overall company costs.
Designates time for breaks and relaxation
Not sure if you’ve heard but there was a significant stigma with taking breaks in the workplace, and this didn’t come from managers but the actual workers! A study done with 2,000 American workers found that 51% of them stated that it was rare or unrealistic for them to take a proper lunch break.
This explains the habit of choosing to eat at your desk rather than out or in any other location within the office. However, why exactly did American workers feel like they needed to do this? The main reason is their perception that working without breaks leads to more work done.
This, however, is entirely not true, instead, you’re more likely to compromise your productivity and motivation for your work. Which, you guessed it, leads to burnout. What's important is what each person chooses to do during these breaks.
With intelligent planning, you and your team can designate specific times through the week when you can take breaks. This can either be done individually or as a group. So, it’s important to encourage your team to take short breaks through the day. Don’t worry, the intelligent planning algorithm will schedule and plan projects around this. Ensuring that important responsibilities are still being met.
It’s also interesting to take time off work together as a group. Not only is it another chance to relax but at the same time you’re creating stronger relationships with your colleagues. You may ask how do you find the time when everyone is available. Well, the algorithm will schedule this to suit everyone's availability.