While my previous articles (Reasons behind professional fatigue & Results of professional fatigue) detailed the concept of professional fatigue along with informing about the major causes and results of professional fatigue, this article is an attempt to focus upon a few remedies for professional fatigue. One of the basic problems while curing professional fatigue is that it is often diagnosed very late and in most of the cases, even after the diagnosis, it is not taken seriously as a priority issue. It is therefore recommended that professional fatigue should be treated as a priority HR issue and regular diagnosis of the same be undertaken. Another important thing to be remembered while looking for a solution to professional fatigue is that it can never be solved by independent efforts of either employers or employees. Professional fatigue can only be managed with the joint efforts of both employers and the employees (The University of Western Australia, 2012). While at the individual or employee level, it can be suggested that one should ensure good care of health through proper sleep (Rogers, n.d.), diet and work breaks; at the employer’s side following remedies are recommended:
As discussed under the article “Reasons behind professional fatigue“, doing the same type of job is a major reason of professional fatigue. It is therefore important that the employees are given new opportunities and challenges to learn and grow (Miller et al., 1973). However, any kind of job rotation must be accompanied by proper assessment of employee’s interests, abilities and aptitudes and required training. Effective change management is a prerequisite.
Setting realistic targets
Unrealistic performance targets should be avoided and employers must empathize with the employees. Moreover, there should be continuous performance appraisal to motivate the performers and warn non-performers. This would also help in immediate diagnosis of any kind of fatigue among employees.
Regular medical check-ups
The organizations should inculcate a culture of employees’ fitness by ensuring regular medical check-ups of employees at all hierarchical levels, free of cost. A study by Deloitte (2010) recommended the use of sleep bands in organizations to be worn by all employees to measure their sleep hours and exposure to fatigue risk (Csontos, 2010). Regular check-ups also help in early diagnosis of any physical, mental or emotional illness and can prove effective in avoiding professional fatigue.
Compulsory leisure breaks
The organizations should make the employees go on compulsory leisure breaks during work. These may include fixing up proper lunch hours and infrastructural set-up where employees from different departments can take lunch and communicate. Similarly, the companies can also organize yoga and meditation sessions, art therapy for all employees at different timings to give them a good break from work and benefit their physical and mental health (Nyamache, n.d.).
Unofficial gatherings and holidays
Besides official meetings, the employers should frequently plan unofficial gatherings so as to help employees know each other and exchange ideas and feel relaxed. The employees should also be allowed to go on family holidays to maintain work-life continuum and remain stress-free. However, it is important to note that employees should not be disturbed with official calls and emails during holidays (The Muse, 2013).
Positive work environment
Poor workplace environment is a vital contributor to professional fatigue. In order to improve the health of workplace, all unhealthy organizational politics should be checked. There should be no space for grapevines and rumors in the organization and emphasis on smooth communication flow must be laid. Besides, proper lighting and ambiance should be provided to workers (Nyamache, n.d.).
Remedies for professional fatigue in a nutshell
- Job rotation
- Assessment of employees’ interests, abilities and aptitudes..
- Effective change management.
- Setting realistic targets
Employers must empathize with employees.
Effective performance management.
- Regular medical check-ups
Free weekly/monthly medical check-ups.
Use of sleep bands.
- Compulsory leisure breaks during work
Fix lunch hours and place.
Yoga and meditation.
- Unofficial gatherings and holidays
Unofficial organizational gatherings.
Undisturbed family holidays.
- Positive work environment
Check on workplace politics.
Check on grapevines and rumors.
Healthy communication flow.
Proper lighting and ambience.
- Csontos, A. (December 2010). “Fatigue management Reducing your exposure to fatigue risk.” Retrieved from: http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-Australia/Local%20Assets/Documents/Services/Risk%20services/Corporate%20responsibility/Fatigue_Mgmt_Dec10.pdf
- Miller, F., Dhaliwal, T., & Magas, L. (1973). “Job rotation raises productivity.” Industrial Engineering (5). Pp. 24-26.
- Nyamache, J. (n.d.). “How to Overcome Fatigue in Your Work Place.” Retrieved from: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/how_to_overcome_fatigue_in_your_work_place
- Rogers, A. (n.d.). “Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses.” NCBI. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2645/#_ch40_s2_
- The Muse. (May 9, 2013). “How To Deal With Burnout As A Manager.” Forbes. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2013/09/05/how-to-deal-with-burnout-as-a-manager/?utm_campaign=forbesfbsf&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social
- The University of Western Australia. (March 14, 2012). “Fatigue Management.” Retrieved from: http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/health-wellbeing/health/fatigue