Employee burnout is rapidly becoming a concern worldwide. According to findings from a 2022 Future Forum Pulse survey, 43% of U.S. workers reported feeling burned out, and globally, “burnout rose to 40%.”
These statistics are alarming. The good news is there’s something organizations can do to help alleviate workplace burnout and help employees stay balanced and productive.
Given the prevalence of burnout in the workplace, it’s easy to miss the early warning signs. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the telltale signs so that you can identify burnout and take action quickly. Here’s what to look out for:
Feelings Of Negativity
Many burned-out employees struggle with negative feelings. Negativity can manifest in various ways, such as cynicism, apathy and irritability. If you notice that your staff are increasingly negative about their work, it could indicate burnout.
Lack Of Concentration
People experiencing burnout often lack focus, making it difficult to concentrate on their tasks. This can be cause for concern as it increases the chance of errors, which could damage your company’s reputation.
If someone is burned out, their motivation will likely drop significantly. They may not have the same enthusiasm for their job that they once had or come up with creative solutions as readily.
How Burnout May Impact Your Organization
Burnout can present itself in a variety of ways. It’s important for employers to watch for signs of burnout and be mindful of the potential impacts both on an individual and organizational level.
Reduced Employee Engagement
Burned-out employees often struggle to stay engaged with their work and may exhibit signs of apathy, such as disengagement and lack of motivation. This can quickly lead to a drop in productivity, which could negatively impact your company’s bottom line.
Increased Sick Leave
Burnout can also lead to physical symptoms such as exhaustion, insomnia, headaches and stomach problems. You may notice an increase in the use of sick leave or absences due to illness.
Soaring Employee Turnover
According to a 2021 study, 70% of employees who experience burnout say they would leave a job as a result. If you notice an alarming turnover rate, it could be a sign that employees are looking for an escape.
As the effects of burnout build up, employees become less productive and tasks take longer to complete or are completed at a lower quality than usual. It’s important to pay attention to any sudden changes in productivity—these could be a sign of burnout.
While there are different dimensions of burnout, the likely causes are unrealistic deadlines, long hours, lack of job security and a heavy workload. There can also be organizational factors that contribute to chronic burnout, such as poor leadership, an oppressive work environment, lack of recognition and unfair compensation.
Five Ways To Reduce Burnout Among Your Employees
Workplace burnout can have a significant impact on the mental health of employees and affect your organization’s progress. Here are five strategies that can help you combat burnout among your employees:
1. Be Flexible With Working Hours
A common reason for burnout is rigid working hours. It’s a reason many employees are looking for flexible work schedules. Flexibility allows for better work-life balance. It gives employees more control over when and where they work, allowing them to manage their time more efficiently.
Consider implementing a hybrid approach that allows people to work from home for part of the week. Make sure to set clear boundaries between their work and personal lives.
2. Provide Ample Feedback
Many employers do not recognize the connection between appreciation and job satisfaction. But recognizing your staff for doing a good job can go a long way toward boosting their morale and averting feelings of negativity.
Taking the time to provide feedback shows your employees that you value their contributions. This simple gesture can lift the spirits of your employees and combat workplace burnout.
3. Offer Support To Employees With Burnout
Even with preventative measures in place, some of your employees may still experience symptoms of burnout. If members of your staff report feelings of burnout, take them seriously. Find ways to provide them with the necessary support so they can recover quickly and get back on track.
For instance, you may want to reduce their workload temporarily or provide wellness benefits such as mindfulness training. You could also organize sessions that provide expert guidance on how to recover from burnout.
4. Emphasize Employee Well-Being In Your Culture
Having a comprehensive well-being policy in place can go a long way. Establish initiatives that focus on the prevention and treatment of employee burnout. Come up with programs for monitoring employees’ mental health and addressing the effects of stress and anxiety in the workplace.
Encourage your team to take regular breaks throughout the day and have days when they can disconnect from work and focus on themselves. It could make them more productive in the long run.
5. Initiate Leadership Development Programs
Leadership development programs teach employees essential skills such as time management, prioritization and delegation. These skills can help employees manage their workload better and reduce the likelihood of burnout.
By promoting greater collaboration and communication, leaders can use these skills to create a positive work culture that helps employees stay engaged and motivated at work, reducing the risk of burnout.
Don’t Let Your Organization Fall Victim To Burnout
Burnout syndrome can seriously impact productivity and lead to costly employee turnover. So be proactive in addressing burnout and creating an environment that is conducive to a healthy and productive work-life balance. As a business leader, take control by ensuring your team is working in an atmosphere that drives performance and overall well-being.