The 5 Signs of Employee Burnout

Your employees are an integral part of keeping your business alive. In fact, employees are considered the backbone of every company. Employee burnout is a major threat to employee wellbeing and can be severely damaging to both your employees and your business. You may be wondering how to make sure such a key component of your business is adequately protected. Keeping tabs on the wellbeing of your employees definitely serves as a good first step.

Burnout is described as physical, mental and emotional exhaustion resulting from excessive and ongoing work-related stress. When workers have burnout, productivity, work quality, and morale are significantly reduced. This could be a major downer to your company. In this article, we provide tips on what to look for to determine if any of your employees suffer from burnout.

The Signs of Employee Burnout

1. Underperformance

When employees are plagued with stress, a toll is taken on their performance levels. This is because burnout can make people feel demotivated as well as affect their ability to concentrate, be decisive, and retain important information. We recommend keeping track of your employees’ performance levels to see if any changes could be related to burnout. If you would like to find out if your employee is underperforming, Lawpath can assist you in conducting a performance review.

2. Frequently taking sick leave

Employees with burnout often struggle to turn up to work. This can be due to anxiousness and debilitating stress. If you notice an increase in sick days taken, make sure to check in with your employee. Taking days off temporarily alleviates the stress but, long term, workers may fall behind which could amplify their stress levels.  

3. Low engagement with co-workers

Burnout can make people feel tense, making it difficult for them to open up to their peers. As such, employees that are not their usual bubbly selves will struggle to interact with others out of fear of having a public meltdown. This certainly could have a ripple effect on other employees.

4. Negative emotions

On the other hand, some sufferers cope with burnout by outwardly expressing their frustration. Overall, they may be pessimistic and cynical and it is important to notice when these expressions are out of character. 

5. Lack of self-care

Burnout can cause people to lose sleep, self-medicate and eat poorly. They may also adopt poor coping strategies such as smoking, increasing their coffee intake and drinking more alcohol.

The Remedies

It is often thought that burnout is a personal problem, easily avoided if one tries to destress and manage their time more efficiently. This is far from the truth. As an employer, you are responsible for managing the wellbeing of your employees. The workplace culture you create plays a major role in how employees manage the physical and mental aspects of their job. In fact, the reasons people suffer from burnout are usually centred around workload, poor communication with management and time pressures. If you fear any of your employees are struggling with burnout, you can implement the following strategies: 

1. Avoid punitive measures

As we mentioned earlier, burnout can lead to underperformance. Allow your employees to work through their tough times without fear of the repercussions. This does not mean that you should be sacrificing your business in the process. On the contrary, by investing in your employees by alleviating their pressures, they will overcome burnout faster and thus increase productivity in the long run.

2. Listen in on work-related issues

Pay attention to how your workers are coping with the work. If there is an open channel of communication between management and employees,  current issues can be resolved earlier. It can also prevent future problems from arising. Workplace culture does not change overnight. It does take some time to establish better communication systems. However, in the meantime, you can facilitate conversations around workplace issues while gaging employee feedback through conducting anonymous surveys. Showing your employees that you actually care by checking in once in a while can do wonders for boosting job satisfaction.

3. Encourage mission-oriented work

Help your employees find meaning in what they do. Sometimes a paycheck is not enough motivation for employees to be excited about their work. Working with your employees to establish goals will give them a sense of purpose as well as accomplishment once the job is done. Another way is to show your employees how their contributions make a difference. 

4. Promote work-life balance

Let your employees know that you value their time and expect them to take regular breaks. This is especially important during busy times where a high workload can lead to burnout. Create a culture that promotes the separation of work and personal life by emphasising its importance through your business values and regular chats with employees. If you would like to learn more ways to improve the wellbeing of your employees, head to this page.

Final Thoughts

As an employer, you have the chance to prevent this real issue from affecting your workplace. Now that you know what to look out for, you will be able to tackle burnout head-on and minimise the damage caused to your business. Remember to put the mental health of your employees first – it will do wonders for your company internally and externally. 

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