How to Spot Employee Burnout and What to Do About It

Being burnt out at work can lead to extreme stress levels, depression, and other symptoms for employees across your organization. Job burnout can affect both an employee’s physical and mental health. Learn how to spot burnout in your employees, and what you can do to help prevent this from happening within your organization.

What causes employee burnout?

Companies are constantly adapting and changing, which means employees must adapt and change along with the organization. When an employee is not ready to handle this change, they may start to experience symptoms of burnout.

Some situations that may affect changes in their mental health at work might include:

  • Lack of support: When employees don't feel like their managers or co-workers are listening to their concerns, it can become frustrating to the employee trying to have their voice heard.
  • Dysfunctional environment: Sometimes, when organizations change at the management level, things spiral into chaos. Job roles and responsibilities become unclear, project priorities shift, and employees no longer understand what their value is within the company.
  • Work-life imbalance: Certain industries, such as technology and healthcare, are prone to employees experiencing higher stress levels. When an employee works long nights and additional hours, they no longer have the motivation to spend time with family and friends or take care of themselves.

You may begin to notice signs of employee burnout when you see a decrease in productivity, unexplained absences from work, leaving early or coming in late on a consistent basis, lack of enthusiasm, and isolating themselves from others at the organization.

Handling Job Burnout in the Workplace

Ignoring job burnout can lead to serious mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Constant stress can also lead to physical health concerns such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and more. While there are pros and cons of every job, there are some things you can do to minimize burnout at work:

  • Be transparent and communicate with employees. Whether you’re managing a team or are responsible for the overall corporate culture, employees often work more productively when they feel they are being listened to, have defined responsibilities, and know what’s going on.
  • Find ways to motivate your employees. Simply acknowledging an employee and all their hard work can go a long way. Additionally, corporate initiatives such as contests, games, and team building activities can motivate employees to work better with others and provide a much needed break from the office.
  • Understand your employees’ needs. We all work best under different conditions. Loud office environments can make it difficult to concentrate. Telecommuting can help reduce stress and increase productivity, while ensuring an employee has the necessary tools they need to get the job done can help them complete a project more effectively.

While all employees at some point experience stress throughout their careers, it's important for an organization to evaluate their stress levels and implement measures to help prevent stress and burnout from being a consistent issue that may affect their overall mental and physical health.

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