How is Schellman Preventing Employee Burnout?

According to a recent report by Limade, an organization dedicated to researching and improving employee well-being, the number one reason job-changers left their previous employer in 2021 was burnout.

Forty percent of respondents in their survey cited this as their main reason, and of the 28% of the employees who left their jobs without another job lined up, that number was almost two times higher.

As Schellman has been in existence for 20 years and employed thousands of people, we’ve recognized that burnout is real for employees. Therefore, we took steps to increase our proactivity versus reactivity to how our employees are feeling.

To ensure that we are offering the healthiest environment for our employees and reduce the chance of our employees leaving due to burnout, our leaders rolled out additional policies and benefits at the end of the year. This included Zoom meetings, focus time, a mental health day, and jump-starting our holidays.

In this article, we’ll cover the changes our leadership implemented to maintain a healthy balance in our roles. You’ll gain a strong understanding of how your success will be ensured by an employer that promotes an environment of wellness.

What steps did we take to reduce burnout?

1.    We asked how our employees are doing.

As Carrie Davis, our Senior Manager of People Experience explained, “Schellman sends an annual survey to ask how we can improve our benefits. We also sent a mental health-specific survey during the pandemic, to check in on our employees and ask what Schellman can do to help.”

It is through these surveys that many of the ideas that we’ve implemented to reduce burnout have been generated. This gives you the ability to openly discuss concerns, voice your opinion and offer suggestions for improvement.

2.    We turned off the cameras.

As someone that does quite a few meetings on camera throughout the week, I started to joke at the end of the year that I was “zoomed out.” But “Zoom Fatigue” – which refers to video calls on any platform—does exist. While not a formal diagnosis, it refers to the exhaustion you feel from the increased cognitive demand of being on video.

And while there are many benefits to video (ability to safely connect, offer options to those with disabilities or health conditions) there can be a downside.

In an effort to avoid this, as it contributes to burnout, we put in place a no Zoom Friday policy. That gives our team the day to shut off their cameras if they do have meetings. This is especially important at the end of the week. If you’ve felt like you’re feeling that exhaustion from being on camera, taking the end of the week off from it is a great solution to reduce that.

3.    We created Focus Time on Wednesdays.

Meetings often prevent us from having a block of time to focus. So, we set Wednesday after 12 as a no-meeting timeframe. It allows us to catch up or work on projects while dedicating our full attention without worrying about wrapping up to jumping into another meeting. “Focus Time” increases efficiency and quality of work.

As Carrie also explained, “The no meeting Wednesday and no Zoom Friday also go hand-in-hand with mental health. When surveying our employees, we would often hear that they were doing more meetings than prior to the pandemic. We wanted to make sure that our employees had more time to focus on other work that did not involve meetings or being on camera.” If you’ve found that your week is short on focus time, you’ll know that you have Wednesdays to utilize without set plans.

4.    We set aside time for mental health.

Schellman’s two-week holiday break benefit has always been an employee favorite. According to Carrie, “Company-wide shutdown means that no employees are sending internal employees, so employees truly get to step away and recharge without the concern that they will miss something or get behind.”

The surveys highlighted this insight and therefore, we decided to offer an additional Mental Health Day, which falls the day after our Corporate trip, so our team has an extra day to step away. This is a great opportunity to relax after the trip before heading back to work.

5.    We jump-started the holidays.

To make sure that our employees feel ready to relax on the holidays, we implemented Jump Start Your Holiday. We close the firm at 12 pm EST across the country for the following holidays:

  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving

Employees can use this time to plan and prepare for their time off, to best utilize their holidays to relax, recharge, and spend quality time with family and friends. 

Schellman’s goal is to “work well, live well.”

While burnout might have been a topic that companies considered in the past, 2021 proved that it’s real and it highly affects more than just their employees. Employers must take steps to ensure that their teams can focus and reset, to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

As our team indicated in the surveys, reducing Zoom meetings, increasing focus time and mental health days, and jump-starting our holidays are additional benefits and policies Schellman implemented to help our team reduce the risk of burnout.

If you’ve been in a role where you experienced burnout, finding an employer that highly values this balance is very important. If you’re part of the 81% of workers that believe decreasing burnout should be a top priority for employers, you’ll want to make sure that it is of high importance when deciding on your next opportunity. Schellman was at the forefront of including benefits to ensure that their team is able to “Work well, live well”, and will continue to add benefits to make sure that we’re maintaining a high level of effectiveness across both personal and professional life.

Now that you’ve read about how Schellman has prevented burnout, read how our Employee Resource Groups support our team members by providing additional resources. These groups create inclusivity, provide leadership training, and address community needs. In choosing a future employer, support, whether it’s with benefits or resource groups, is highly important.

About the Author

Lori Jendrucko

Lori Jendrucko oversees all aspects of Talent Acquisition at Schellman & Company, LLC, including development of department processes, implementation of Applicant Tracking Systems, creative sourcing techniques to find talent, and creating effective and genuine recruitment marketing content to best convey the Schellman brand. Her focus is to connect with top talent across the country to educate them on the amazing opportunities Schellman offers, while providing an excellent candidate experience and the highest level of customer service to company decision makers.

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