4 Ways You Can Help Prevent Employee Burnout in the Portable Sanitation Industry

An industrial vacuum truck driver stands in front of his truck with his arms crossed

In this day and age, the idea of achieving work life balance is now more prevalent than ever before. Employee burnout is very real across the board, especially in light of the ongoing stress from the pandemic. Thanks to issues such as supply chain interruptions, rising gas prices, high unemployment, and more, it puts a lot of pressure on current employees to get things done as effectively as possible. With this information in mind, the last thing an employer wants to do is push their employees to a point where they are physically and mentally exhausted

First and foremost, it’s time to take care of your greatest assets: your people. Whether they drive an industrial vacuum truck or work in the office and manage calls and paperwork, we have a few tips that could help prevent burnout. Keep reading to learn more!


1.) Recognize the Signs of Burnout

It is very hard to correct a problem when you don’t know what it even looks like. While employee burnout manifests itself differently for each person, there are some key indicators that you can lookout for. Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel comfortable approaching their supervisors with the fact that they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. That is why employers must remain vigilant and keep an eye out for their people.


Sign #1: High Turnover

If employees are feeling like their needs aren’t being met and they are being pushed to their limits, they are likely going to leave. If you’re noticing a high turnover rate, it’s time to investigate why. Put out anonymous surveys, conduct exit interviews, and really try to get to the bottom of the issue. A high turnover rate puts a lot of stress on employees who stick around. Plus it’s also costly to constantly train and rehire new employees.


Sign #2: Withdrawn and Disconnected

Do you have an industrial vacuum truck driver who used to have perfect attendance but has recently been showing up late several times a week? What about a front office employee who used to always have a smile on their face but now seems withdrawn? These are pretty big indicators that they are burnout or close to it.

In these instances, schedule a time to talk face to face regarding their well being. Let them know that you care about them and their happiness in the workplace. Find out if there is something that you can do to help. Keep an open mind and make sure to speak as candidly as possible.


Sign #3: Decreased Productivity 

All too often, employers and supervisors confuse decreased productivity with laziness or complacency. However, odds are good that just isn’t the case. It often boils down to burnout and employees struggling to finish tasks thanks to being overworked and understaffed. Again, take the time to really get a clear picture of what is going on and practice active listening to see what you can do to help.


2.) Don’t Be Afraid to Rewrite Policy

More often than not, burnout isn’t just something one individual employee is experiencing and real change needs to happen from the top. When you have a team of burnout, disengaged, and overworked employees, this is going to lead to some serious safety issues. This is doubly true when working with heavy machinery, such as an industrial vacuum truck. 

Our solution? Take a deep dive into current company policies. Work with your employees and your human resources professional to come up with better solutions. Rewrite outdated policies and strive to create better benefits for employees. This will be instrumental in preventing burnout and protecting everyone’s safety and wellbeing. 

A handbook of HR policies

3.) Help Employees Set Boundaries

Perfectionists and workaholics struggle with saying ‘no’. They want to do a good job and be someone that everyone can count on. While this is certainly an admirable trait, it can be one of the main factors in burnout. It is important to help your employees set boundaries. One of the ways you can do this is by staying mindful of how you delegate responsibilities. Take a look at the big picture before doling out a new assignment.

For example, if you have one employee who is an excellent fit for a task, but they already have an extremely packed schedule, try looking at your options. There might be a newer employee who would also do a great job at this task but has never been given a chance. Or you could rearrange the employee’s schedule and delegate out tasks before handing them a new one. But don’t make the mistake of handing them something just because you know they’ll say ‘yes’.


4.) Train on the Topic

Sometimes, employees won’t even know that they are burnout. At the same time, you can’t expect managers to magically just know when to pinpoint in themselves and their team, either. That is why having proper training on the topic is a must. 

Work with someone on your HR staff to establish how often you should touch base on employee burnout. Twice a year? Once a quarter? The size of your team is likely going to be a factor as well. Create interactive, meaningful training sessions that focus on putting the employee’s well being first. Be sure to practice active listening and take any and all feedback into careful consideration. 


The Bottom Line

We know you do a lot for your employees and care about them. You make sure that they drive the industry’s best industrial vacuum truck. You offer them good wages and employee benefit packages. However, all of that being said, employee burnout is still very much a possibility. Happy employees work hard to provide quality service, meaning that in turn, it creates satisfied customers who want to use your business again and again.

We hope that this information has been helpful to you for moving forward! To find out more information about FlowMark and how our vacuum trucks can really elevate your business, head on over to our website. Make sure to contact us today for a free quote! We can’t wait to show you the FlowMark difference.