Employee burnout is the stress and exhaustion directly related to an organization’s workload. Burnout is common in high-stress jobs, as the work can become all-consuming.
Standing by as your employees experience burnout will create a high turnover rate in your company with discouraging reviews.
If your organization pays enough attention to addressing employee burnout, you’ll have a happier, healthier, more productive work environment.
Signs of Employee Burnout
It’s essential to know the signs of employee burnout to intervene before your workers reach their breaking point.
Employees can have a lot of responsibility, leading to physical and emotional stress.
Large projects, co-worker disagreements and long days can lead to burnout, which can show through these types of stress.
You value dedicated and effective employees, but they can easily rely on a little too much. You can also cause stress in a less effective but still valued employee by giving more responsibility to others. Employees who don’t feel valued are at a higher risk for burnout.
If you notice an employee suffering from this type of stress, it may be an early indicator that they’re getting burned out.
If you hear an employee complaining about a lack of sleep, they could be experiencing burnout.
Lack of sleep causes stress and anxiety, symptoms of burnout. When employees are stressed about their job or working too much, their mind doesn’t have time to wind down. That can lead to burnout.
Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and if employees are working to the point where they can’t be present at home and get enough sleep, they are more likely to suffer from burnout.
Being tired all the time and napping more frequently could also indicate an employee’s burnout.
If you notice a formerly content employee becoming angry or irritable, they may start to burn out.
Excess stress from a high workload can frustrate employees more efficiently. If an employee snaps at others or seems more annoyed than usual, it can signify that the work is becoming too much.
You want to foster a positive work environment, and excess irritability and anger can interfere with that, increasing the chances of burnout for everyone.
Poor Quality Work
Burnout can lead to employees being less dedicated to producing quality work. Once stress hits a certain level, it’s easier to just go through the motions.
When you notice a lower work quality, it’s a good sign that your employee is getting burned out.
Taking longer to complete tasks is also a sign of burnout. Taking longer breaks or zoning out can signal that your employees are mentally exhausted.
When a previously outgoing employee because distant and closed off, they could be suffering from burnout.
Your employees should enjoy time outside of work with their family and friends. However, if they leave employment mentally exhausted, they are less likely to participate in those activities, becoming more isolated.
Another sign of disengaged employees is that they’re unlikely to attend optional work events, arrive at work as late as possible and leave as early as possible.
Along with being less engaged, employees dealing with burnout are likely to be absent from work more.
This is because burnout can present itself through exhaustion and stress can lead to illness.
Employees who experience absence due to burnout will often not be energetic about returning to the office.
Ways You Can Help
If you begin noticing the signs of burnout amongst your employees, there are ways you can help prevent and reverse it.
Give Needed Time
Everyone needs breaks from time to time and by giving employees an appropriate amount of time off, they’ll have the necessary time to relax and recoup before returning to the office.
You also want to limit the amount of overtime your employees take, as working too long during the day can significantly contribute to burnout.
By being flexible with emergencies or appointments, your employees will know that you are committed to their well-being and that knowledge can help prevent burnout.
Give the Needed Resources
In every workplace, there’s equipment that breaks. Slowing repairs and forcing workers to accommodate the broken equipment can add unneeded stress that leads to burnout.
On the other hand, keeping up with technology to alleviate some work from your employees can help reduce stress and burnout.
Create a Wellness Culture
If you create a focus in your office on self-care, you will reduce the amount of burnout among your employees.
It may seem at first like you’re sacrificing hard work by encouraging your employees to take frequent breaks and make time for healthy eating and exercise. The good news is that by fostering a culture of wellness, you will have to bother happier and more productive employees.
Employees with time to care for themselves are less likely to experience burnout.
Managers and company heads can have a very distant relationship with employees.
While staying professional is necessary, taking the time to know your employees can help you better understand them.
When you have a camaraderie with your workers, you will be able to have more open and honest communication with them. Being open with your employees will encourage them to be open with you creating a work schedule and environment that is best for you.
Ignite a Sense of Purpose
Every job’s purpose in society ignites your employees’ passion for that purpose.
There’s a reason they applied to get this job, whether it be the work itself, the industry, the hours or the money. By celebrating your employees’ accomplishments, you also help them find worth in what they’re doing.
Helping your employees find a passion for your company’s mission and renewing their sense of purpose will help avoid burnout.
Alleviating Burnout in Your Organization
When you try to end burnout in your organization, you will boost company morale and encourage productivity.
Your employees need to know you care about their well-being. When you invest in their physical and mental health, you get a return of enthusiastic employees that are providing quality work.Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.