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2/16/21 3:00 PM Evelyn Long

Many industries and workplace environments are subject to worker burnout. In the modern era of hustle culture, it can be challenging to take a bit of a break and take your mind off work. This issue can be even more prevalent in industries where workers have jobs requiring mental precision, expertise and physical labor. Workers and business owners in these industries should be mindful of burnout and overall workplace wellness.


While workers should take steps to manage exhaustion by practicing self-care in their free time, there’s a strong incentive for leaders and business owners to deal with fatigue in the workplace, too. When you create a healthy work environment for all your employees, burnout will become easier to manage across the board, and reliable, consistent, quality work will become even more prevalent at your company.


Here are a few ways on how to manage worker burnout in the construction industry.


1. Define Job Descriptions

While burnout can be physical, a large part of it can also be mental, especially in sporadic or inconsistent jobs. When your workers have a lot to do physically, taking some of the cognitive load off can make a big difference. Ensure your directions are clear-cut and organized, so your workers understand the objectives and can formulate precise goals.


safety culture - make the change


2. Make Health & Safety a Priority

When workers are stressed, accidents are more likely to happen and safety is at a higher risk. Regularly reviewing safety measures and ensuring they are up to code can lead to less worry and a safer work environment for everyone involved.


Updating safety training programs can help refresh your team’s practices and create a strong safety culture. Workers might know when to wear their hard hats, but they might not be aware of the negative impacts exhaustion, anxiety and other mental challenges have on their wellbeing.


Finally, as the nation navigates its way through a pandemic, remind workers that their health is important to the team. Companies should be vocal about their willingness to honor quarantine regulations so employees don’t fear losing their jobs should they become a health risk to their coworkers. They should also demonstrate care by enforcing social distancing practices and worksite disinfection routines each day, helping ease both the physical and mental stress of essential construction work in challenging times.


3. Recognize Top-Notch Performance

One of the reasons many people feel tired and unmotivated by their job is the lack of recognition for quality work. When you recognize and reward workers for their efforts, they feel appreciated and like they’re a part of a team. Not only will this inspire people to maintain a consistently high output, but it also reminds employees how much you appreciate them. Having an employee-of-the-month program or offering bonuses is an excellent way to show your appreciation.


4. Pay Fair Wages

While bonuses and on-the-job recognition are outstanding perks, work boils down to an exchange of labor for money. To ensure that your workers aren’t anxious or exhausted, paying them a living wage should be a priority.


When workers can financially support themselves and take reasonable time off for their work-life balance, their work quality will improve. Nothing demonstrates employee appreciation more than paying them what they’re worth.


5. Offer Benefits

In addition to getting paid a living wage, the ability to access health insurance and benefits through your employer provides peace of mind. Construction workers are some of the least likely employees to receive health insurance, which can directly impact a worker’s health, well-being and quality of life.


Companies in some states classify construction workers as independent contractors, which means workers’ compensation insurance doesn’t even cover costs if they get injured on the job. This issue can impact employee health and prevent skilled workers from returning to their jobs after an accident. In a career like construction, offering benefits can often lead to significant improvements.


Managing Burnout in Construction Workers

Just like any other segment, the construction industry has a high risk of burnout. When workers use their bodies, mental expertise and handiwork to complete projects and deliver quality craftsmanship, they can understandably become exhausted and unmotivated, but this doesn’t have to be the case.


Treat your workers well, prioritize safety, ensure that they feel recognized and pay people equitably. Your result will be a happier and more balanced team and better-quality work output.


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Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, where she covers construction labor and safety advice for industry professionals. Readers can keep up with Evelyn’s work on Twitter.

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