How accountants can avoid burnout
June 22, 2015

With the massive amount of responsibilities accountants have and busier times of year like tax season, it's easy for financial professionals to feel burned out. Burnout emerges from extreme, chronic stress, and it may severely disrupt the performance of top employees. Not only does burnout cause exhaustion, diminish performance and increase cynicism about work, but it also has a negative impact on bottom line results because accounting professionals can't manage the same workloads. Here are some techniques managers and employees can use to combat burnout:

Assess the situation on an individual level
If employees appear to be at risk for burnout, it's important for managers to evaluate how much each accountant has on his or her plate. If the department is understaffed or employees at the same level have major discrepancies in their workloads, managers may need to take action before burnout becomes more severe.

If the department is significantly understaffed at a busy time, it may be a good idea to bring in temporary staff members to ease the burden on full-time employees. This move may reduce stress on top performers and decrease turnover costs. Companies often pay a great deal to recruit new hires and lose their investment from training costs when turnover rates are high.

Focus on performance rather than hours
During busy seasons, it's easy for accountants to put in long hours at the office. Placing too much emphasis on the number of hours employees spend in the office each day does not account for great performance. Managers should be sure to acknowledge accounting professionals who regularly go above and beyond. It may also be a good idea to encourage work-life balance. Employees aren't guaranteed to take vacations on their own, even if a company has a generous paid time off policy.

Practice mindfulness
Much has been made of mindfulness and meditation for high-stress professions. Taking a few minutes to de-stress each day makes a huge difference for accountants. It's a chance for them to clear their minds, giving them a renewed focus to power through the rest of their work for the day. Meditation helps employees feel more relaxed and focused. Because many accounting professionals may not be aware of the benefits of mindfulness, managers may want to begin by leading their teams through a guided session. 

Nexus: G-WEBCD2