5 Ways to Prevent or Remedy Employee Burnout

Sometimes your top performer at work will start to show erratic behavior. If you notice a change in his/her productivity or enthusiasm to get the job done, there is a possibility that this individual may be feeling stressed or overwhelmed with work.

“Workplace burnout is a state of emotional and physical exhaustion that is brought on by a long period of stress resulting in a feeling of emptiness and frustration.” This is usually very common in all different workplace cultures and quite the feat to remedy. However, it’s important you recognize it once it begins, understand why it is happening, and take the proper action to help your employees come out of the slump plus make changes to prevent it from happening again.

Main causes of burnout:

  1. Employees may be feeling overworked and/or under-appreciated.
  2. Employees may be feeling bored or under-stimulated.
  3. Employees may feel insecure and unclear about job expectations.

Signs to look out for:

  • Unexplained absences from work
  • Showing to work late/leaving early
  • Decrease in productivity
  • Decline in health
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Not meeting deadlines or difference in work produced
  • Cynicism
  • Over-sensitivity to criticism

Being able to fix this feeling of frustration or depression in employees is no easy task, but here are some tips to prevent this from happening in the future and ways to handle the problem as a leader in your organization:

  1. Recognize and Acknowledge Employee Work

It’s such a natural human trait to want to be appreciated for the work or effort you put into something. Make sure you reward employees with recognition…make it a part of your job to pay close attention to what your employees do and notice them for it.

  1. Motivate Employees

Each employee you have is different. Great managers can identify these differences and adjust communication or behavior towards each employee based on getting to know their work ethic. Figure out what motivates your employees and act on those factors.

  1. Encourage Stress Relief

Be a little more flexible with what is allowed in the workplace. Listening to music can help alleviate stress, so allowing for that (headphones in) might be helpful. Allow casual dress on certain days of the week. Flex their work hours or institute telecommuting every now and then if the nature of the job permits it. This demonstrates you care about employee wellness!

  1. Assign Tasks Accordingly

Be aware of your employees’ workload. Set realistic deadlines and work with your employees to figure out when a goal can be accomplished. If work is piling unreasonably, you have to consider if the work is being distributed evenly among all of your employees.

  1. Improve Your Leadership Skills

Just because you’re in a managerial role, shouldn’t mean you can’t learn more. Always continue to develop your leadership and people skills. Some ways of doing this are to read some leadership books, attend a workshop, or do research!

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