Employee burnout is an issue that can have major consequences if not properly handled. If employees are overworked and stressed out to the point of completely burning out, they may feel hopeless and stop caring about their jobs. Learn more about how to spot the signs of burnout on your team and how to fix it.
Signs of Burnout:
Drop in Performance
One of the most apparent signs of employee burnout is a significant drop in performance. If productivity levels and the quality of work are at a noticeable decline, burnout is likely the culprit.
If the overall tone of the office has changed for the negative, such as more pessimism when discussing work matters or complaining without trying to solve issues, your team is probably struggling with burnout. While there is always bound to be venting among colleagues, if negative morale starts to become the norm, that is a warning sign.
Decline in Engagement
Engaged employees are the ones who are internally motivated to work hard because they find it personally fulfilling. If the employees who once enthusiastically went above and beyond to exceed expectations are now only managing to contribute the bare minimum, the decline in engagement is likely a result of burnout.
Increase in Health Issues
Even if your team does not appear to be demonstrating outward signs of burnout, there still may be subtle indicators. An increase in health issues and related absences could mean that your employees are stressed to the point of becoming unwell and should be a cue to look further into the possibility of burnout.
Possible Solutions to Burnout:
Reach Out and Discuss It
The first step to managing burnout before it is too late is to talk to your employees about their situations. Reach out to set up a meeting and discuss the issue. In a non-accusatory manner, state whatever signs you have been noticing and express your concern and that you are open to their input in order to alleviate the situation.
Offer Suggestions to Balance Workload
One way you can help your employees with burnout is to assist in prioritizing their workloads. Review their current responsibilities and offer suggestions to balance the workload. It may be a manner of figuring out how to make a process more efficient or holding off on particular projects; or they may need to readjust their expectations on how much they can realistically do.
Encourage Consistent Breaks
Taking time away from work, both in shorter bursts throughout the day and actual extended days away from the office, makes employees better able to tackle their workloads because they get a chance to recharge. However, if they feel overwhelmed with work, they may try to power through their tasks and not take time away. Prevent burnout by encouraging consistent breaks – outright say they should take their break times and paid days off and that they will not be penalized or otherwise not seen as a team player for doing so.
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