Staying Ahead of Employee Burnout

Don’t wait until your workers are communicating about or already exhibiting signs of employee burnout. Follow these tips for proactive policy-making that keeps your team ahead of burnout altogether. Stay ahead of employee burnout.

What Is Employee Burnout?

Burnout can be loosely defined as a chronic and worsening emotional condition that comes from ongoing workplace stress. Burned out employees are less productive and less motivated. They tend to disengage, doing only as much as they have to each day. They are more likely to call in sick and may start actively looking for a new job.

Symptoms of Burnout

Your employees are individuals, and they may experience stress in different ways. But most people with burnout will experience at least some of these common symptoms:

  • Exhaustion
  • Lethargy or agitation
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Reduced efficacy
  • Disinterest in workplace activities they previously enjoyed
  • Cynicism about their work

Preventing or Improving Employee Burnout

It’s always best to prevent burnout before it sets in. But if your team members are already showing signs of burnout, it isn’t too late. Here’s how to turn things around:

  • Create a culture of well-being. Model self-care behaviors such as leaving on time and not answering emails during off hours. Encourage employees to use their vacation time. Offer optional social events, such as a catered lunch or after-work drinks.
  • Equip managers to address burnout. Give your managers the authority to promote collaboration, offer incentives, and encourage worker autonomy. Teach them to model healthy behaviors and to open the lines of communication with team members.
  • Restructure roles and teams. Put some effort into rebalancing workloads to make sure they are fair and reasonable. Build cross-departmental teams to manage projects. Engage with your employees to ensure that they understand their value to the company and the ways in which their work makes a real difference. Offer learning and development programs to employees to spark interest, expand skills, and keep things interesting.
  • Redesign workspaces. Create a more inviting physical environment. Offer break areas that are comfortable and well-equipped. To the extent possible, allow employees to personalize their work areas, and make sure that all stations are designed with ergonomics in mind.


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