How to Avoid Emotional Labor Burnout in a Fast-Paced F&B Industry

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What do you do when your worker is burned out? A study on the mental health of workers in Singapore has identified that 85% of workers admit that they feel at risk of burnout at work, with one in five of them reporting that they already feel drained at work, and F&B workers are no exception. 

Imagine a waiter or waitress who works at a busy restaurant. They’re constantly on their feet, taking orders, delivering food, and handling customer requests. After enduring extended shifts, they begin to experience extreme tiredness, stress, and frustration. Mistakes become more frequent, they may forget tasks, and their interactions with customers turn less pleasant.

This situation is known as labor burnout, and it can make their job much tougher and less enjoyable. When we look at it from an HR perspective in the restaurant, it’s not just about the server’s own well-being; it also affects the restaurant’s service quality and the overall mood of the staff.

Labor burnout has one deeper layer, which is emotional burnout. Based on the explanation of industrial/organizational psychology practitioners, emotional burnout is when you get really tired and stressed out because you have to control your feelings while doing your job. It often happens when you’re trying to meet work goals and act a certain way at work. 

Emotional burnout is highly relevant in the F&B workplace, especially for roles that involve direct interaction with customers. In this industry, employees often need to manage their emotions, such as staying friendly and patient with demanding customers or handling stressful situations in the kitchen. 

The constant emotional effort required in these roles can lead to emotional burnout over time. This can affect the mental well-being of employees and impact the quality of customer service, making it an important consideration for F&B employers.

Why Emotional Labor Burnout is Problem That Need to Address Immediately

When workers are tired and stressed, they might make mistakes or not be very nice to customers. This can make customers unhappy and not want to come back. So, it’s important to find ways to help workers feel better and not so tired. This will make the place better for everyone.

Emotional labor burnout in the F&B industry can occur due to several distinctive characteristics of this field. Firstly, the constant pressure of customer service plays a significant role. F&B workers often have to interact with demanding customers, work long hours, and manage busy shifts, which can be emotionally draining. 

Secondly, the industry sets high expectations for its employees. Customers expect a friendly and cheerful demeanor from staff, even when they may not be feeling that way inside. This need to mask true emotions and consistently appear positive takes a toll on one’s emotional well-being.

Moreover, the workload in the F&B sector can be overwhelming. Restaurants and cafes can become exceptionally busy, requiring staff to multitask, manage numerous tables, and handle a high volume of orders simultaneously. Such situations can lead to mental and emotional exhaustion. Additionally, irregular working hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, disrupt personal lives and contribute to stress and fatigue among employees.

, How to Avoid Emotional Labor Burnout in a Fast-Paced F&B Industry

Team dynamics also play a crucial role in emotional burnout. Conflict with coworkers or management can create emotional strain, making it difficult to find enjoyment in the workplace. Finally, the repetitive nature of some tasks and dealing with routine issues can lead to emotional exhaustion over time. All of these factors combined make emotional labor burnout a notable concern in the F&B industry.

Impact of Emotional Labor Burnout on Employees and Employers

Emotional labor burnout affects both employees and employers in significant ways. For employees, it can lead to exhaustion, stress, and a decrease in overall well-being. Workers often have to do a lot of things at once and deal with many customers who want things fast. They have to smile and be nice all the time, even when they’re tired or upset. This can be really hard. 

Plus, they often work when others are resting, like during weekends or nights, so they don’t get much time off. Sometimes, they might not get along with their coworkers or boss, and that can make things even worse. 

When people in the fast-paced F&B industry experience emotional burnout, it can feel like they’re carrying a heavy load of emotions all the time. This constant stress can lead to physical health problems, like headaches or stomachaches, and can make it hard to enjoy work or even their personal lives.

On the employer’s side, emotional labor burnout can have a negative impact on the business. When employees are burnt out, they might not perform their jobs as well. For F&B establishments, this could mean making mistakes with orders, being rude to customers, or even quitting their jobs. These issues can lead to a drop in customer satisfaction and, ultimately, a decrease in profits.

Strategies for Reducing Emotional Labor Burnout

Reducing emotional labor burnout means finding ways to help people who feel tired and stressed from their jobs, especially when they have to manage their emotions while working. Here are some strategies to do that.

Create a Supportive Work Environment

Creating a supportive work environment is the same as creating a friendly and caring place where employees can do their work happily. This is where bosses and managers play a crucial role in fostering a supportive workplace culture because based on research about the causes and effects of employee burnout, it turns out that the biggest driver of employee burnout is a lack of support or recognition from leadership. As reported by 69 percent of workers, their bosses do not do enough to mitigate burnout.

Provide Training and Education

Training and education in the workplace are a bit like teaching someone how to ride a bike. Just like when you were learning to balance on two wheels, employees can also learn how to balance their emotions and reactions so they can feel more in control. 

For example, imagine an employee named Sarah who works in a busy F&B restaurant. Sometimes, customers can be demanding, and it used to make her very upset. She would feel overwhelmed and stressed, which affected her performance. 

But then, her workplace started offering emotional training sessions. During these sessions, she learned techniques to stay calm and handle difficult customers gracefully. It was like learning how to steer a bike smoothly through tricky turns. With practice, Sarah became really good at managing her emotions.

Give Positive Feedback

Positive feedback involves giving regular compliments and recognition to employees for their good work. This helps boost their morale and reduces stress levels, making for a happier and more motivated team. 

Positive feedback could be when the manager praises a waiter for providing excellent customer service and ensuring every guest had a great dining experience. This recognition makes the waiter feel valued and motivated to continue delivering outstanding service.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution means solving problems when people at work disagree or argue. It’s important to fix these problems quickly so that they don’t make people feel upset. 

For example, in a busy restaurant, the kitchen staff and servers might argue about orders. This can make them stressed. So, the boss could help them talk and find a solution. This way, they can work together better, feel less stressed, and not get burnt out.

Software Solutions for Creating Supportive Workplace Culture and Open Communication/Feedback

In addition to managerial strategies, various software solutions can help make workplaces better by encouraging employees to talk openly and by letting them give feedback, especially for those who don’t have much time or resources to handle emotional labor burnout. 

Besides, these tech tools make it easier for people to work together and feel good about their jobs. It can also help managers and bosses keep track of how everyone is doing. Here are some software solution examples that can be used to prevent emotional labor burnout in the F&B workplace:

  1. Employee Feedback Platforms, allow organizations to gather anonymous feedback from employees. This helps in understanding their concerns and suggestions, fostering open communication.
  2. Employee Recognition Software, offers ways to recognize and reward employees for their contributions. This fosters a culture of appreciation and support.
  3. Anonymous Reporting Tools, allow employees to report concerns or misconduct anonymously. This can encourage open reporting of issues that might otherwise go unaddressed.
  4. Feedback Analytics, offers in-depth analytics on employee feedback and engagement, helping organizations make data-driven decisions to improve the workplace.
  5. Collaboration Tools, help teams collaborate on projects, share updates, and provide feedback in a centralized space.

How EngageAny Helps Emotional Labor Burnout

At StaffAny, we know for a fact that managers and owners of small and medium-sized businesses have limited time and resources for  dealing with labor burnout. Even managers who understand this struggle might find it tough to talk about employee burnout when their main job is to make sure the business is doing well.

Based on this observation, StaffAny presents a feature called EngageAny. Through EngageAny, managers and business owners can use various software solutions that can help prevent emotional labor burnout in the F&B workplace.

There are three key features that managers and business owners can use in EngageAny to address emotional labor burnout. The first is through shared goals and collaboration among employees using gamification tasks. The second is through increasing work enthusiasm and appreciation using reward programs. And the last is through open communication using feedback from employees.

The first feature is gamification tasks which involve incorporating game elements, such as competitions, rewards, and challenges, into a non-game context such as the workplace. The goal of such gamification is to create a sense of shared purpose and collaboration among employees, encouraging a more cohesive and aligned workforce. It can also make work more interesting and fun, reducing the risk of burnout and increasing overall job satisfaction. With this feature, managers can create a clear sense of alignment among employees through gamified tasks.

The second feature is the rewards program, which uses technology to increase employee motivation and engagement. These programs allow for easy recognition and reward of employee contributions, with a variety of reward options. These programs often include gamification elements, increasing engagement and the sense of satisfaction. 

And finally, feedback from employees. In EngageAny, managers and business owners can utilize feedback automation features that allow employees to regularly share their thoughts and feelings about their work. By encouraging feedback from employees, managers and business owners can create a workplace where everyone’s voice is heard, and address potential issues that might lead to complaints. 

Additionally, managers and business owners can also use feedback analytics to identify the underlying causes of specific issues or challenges. This helps in addressing the core problem that could potentially trigger burnout.

Are You Ready for a New Way to Prevent Emotional Burnout?

Prepare yourself to unlock the potential of EngageAny, a unique offering exclusively brought to you by StaffAny! Are you ready to seamlessly integrate the power of EngageAny into your business? Don’t hesitate any further!

Learn more about EngageAny here.

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