This is not the 1980’s or 90’s anymore, first in and last to leave is not an effective way to manage your people. I was one of those guys. Into the office for 7am after a 90-minute commute and leaving at 7pm with another 90 minutes home, eat, sleep, repeat. It was a badge of honour, and I wore it proudly. Sure, that early hustle attitude likely set me up for success, but it was not and is not sustainable. Now, it is about working smarter and work/life balance. Quality over quantity, output versus perception.

Employee burnout is a phenomenon that has become increasingly common in the modern workplace. Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, a sense of cynicism or detachment from work, and reduced effectiveness and productivity. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including excessive workload, long hours, lack of support or recognition, and poor work-life balance. Spreading yourself too thin will always result in mediocre results across the board.

Burnout not only has negative consequences for individual employees but also for the organizations they work for. Employees stretched to their limits are more likely to take sick days, make mistakes, and experience conflicts with their colleagues. They are also more likely to leave their jobs, which can lead to high turnover rates, decreased morale, and decreased productivity.

Therefore, it is essential for employers to recognize the signs of burnout in their employees and take steps to prevent and address it. In this article, we will discuss some of the key signs of burnout and offer some strategies for resolving it.

Signs of Employee Burnout

One of the key signs of burnout is a sense of emotional exhaustion. Employees who are burned out may feel drained and depleted, both physically and emotionally. They may also experience symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, and insomnia.

Another sign of burnout is a sense of cynicism or detachment from work. Burned-out employees may feel apathetic about their job, their colleagues, and the organization they work for. They may also exhibit negative attitudes towards their work and their coworkers. They may be short with colleagues or seem angry more often.

A third sign of burnout is reduced effectiveness and productivity. Burned-out employees may struggle to concentrate on their work, make mistakes, and miss deadlines. They may also experience a lack of motivation and a decrease in the quality of their work. Many times they feel like they just want to give up, quit and take a sabbatical.

Strategies for Resolving Employee Burnout

If you notice that one of your employees is exhibiting signs of burnout, there are several strategies you can use to help them recover and prevent things from getting worse.

Utilize the Employee Assistance Program

If you have an EA program as part of your corporate benefits package, encourage your people to use it. Remind them that it is a completely confidential third-party service to take away the stigma of such programs.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

One of the main causes of burnout is an imbalance between work and personal life. Therefore, it is essential to encourage your employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance. This can be achieved by offering flexible work schedules, allowing employees to work from home, and encouraging them to take breaks throughout the day. Set off hours or blackout no office email / phone periods.

Provide Adequate Resources and Support

Another key factor in preventing burnout is ensuring that your employees have the resources and support they need to do their jobs effectively. This can include providing training and development opportunities, offering mentoring, or coaching, and ensuring that employees have access to the tools and equipment they need to do their work.

Recognize and Reward Employee Contributions

One of the most important ways to prevent burnout is by recognizing and rewarding employee contributions. This can be achieved by offering regular feedback, providing opportunities for growth and development, and offering incentives such as bonuses or promotions.

Foster a Positive Work Environment

Another important factor in preventing burnout is fostering a positive work environment. This can be achieved by promoting open communication, encouraging teamwork and collaboration, and creating a culture of mutual respect and support.

Encourage Self-Care

Finally, it is important to encourage your employees to take care of themselves both physically and emotionally. This can include offering wellness programs, providing resources for stress management, and encouraging employees to take time off when needed.

Employee burnout is a common and serious issue in today’s workplace. It can have negative consequences for both individual employees and the organizations they work for. Therefore, it is essential for employers to recognize the signs of burnout and take steps to prevent and address it. I have experienced my own burnout several times in life, and it is not just work related, but usually an amalgamation of work, family, financial, and emotional stresses pulling us thinner and thinner. It takes more than just a vacation to pull out of this funk, it takes a reset. A shift in priorities, some self-help and an understanding employer.

By encouraging work-life balance, providing adequate resources and support, recognizing, and rewarding employee contributions, fostering a positive work environment, and encouraging self-care, employers can help prevent burnout and promote a healthy, productive, and engaged workforce. Trust me, not only is it far cheaper than having to replace and employee that you let go due to burnout related factors, it’s also the right thing to do.

Mark Kowall