How to Handle Employee Burnout

Lack of energy, slacking off, irritability and not being able to focus are all classic signs of job burnout.  Employers who begin to notice their workers are wearing down on the job need to take action.

What is Job Burnout

Job burnout is chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is not depression or a medical condition. Factors that contribute to burnout include work overload, pressure from management, role conflict and ambiguity, and a lack of support or feedback. An imbalance between work and home life is another common cause.

According to a Gallup poll, 76% of employees experience burnout on the job. Employees who are frequently burned out are 63% more likely to take a sick day and 23% more likely to visit the emergency room.

Signs of Job Burnout

Job burnout can result in excessive stress, fatigue, insomnia, sadness, anger, and alcohol or substance abuse. Top-performing, highly-engaged employees are at the highest risk for burnout. If management doesn’t step in, workers can suffer from low productivity and a business can get hit with a high employee turnover rate.

Employee Burnout Phases

There are three phases of employee burnout. In the low-risk phase, workers have a low amount of stress, but it’s manageable. Employees in the moderate-risk phase are still engaged in their work, but may have trouble focusing on work activities. During the high-risk phase, stress becomes unmanageable and engagement declines.

How Employers Can Prevent Burnout

There are ways a business can prevent burnout and keep their workforce happy and productive.

Elicit Feedback. Workers need to be heard and employers must listen. When signs of burnout are spotted, meet with your employee to pinpoint the problem.  Try to come up with a solution together.

Don’t Pile On Too Much. Keep the workload manageable for employees. Individuals who have too much on their plate may always feel they have to play catch-up. This can result in burnout. Have managers monitor employee productivity and performance.

Flexibility is the key to employee happiness. Also known as flextime, flexible scheduling lets employees choose their own work hours. Employees are at lower risk of burnout when they can create a schedule around their own needs.

Support Mental Health Days. Let workers take a mental health day when they feel they need one. Also offer paid time off and encourage employees to use it to relax and recharge.

Recognize Success. Take the time to compliment workers for a job well-done. Employee recognition is key to producing great work. Your workers will feel appreciated and valued.

Empower Employees. Burnout is a natural result for workers who feel that they have no say in decision-making. Give employees clear opportunities to advance in the company.  Challenge your team members. Let them do their job.

Handling Job Burnout

There are steps employees can take if they are hit with job burnout. Discuss specific concerns with your boss. Seek support from others. Use relevant employee resources your company offers. Take time to relax, get some sleep, and exercise regularly.

Need a Business Advisor?

If you are ready to work with a top-notch business advisor, reach out to  Lodestar Advisors. We can help you develop a business planthat will move your company forward and meet future goals. You can reach us at 443-280-0890, or by filling out the online form at the bottom of our webpage. We can’t wait to start this journey with you!