Avoiding Employee Burnout – What Is It And How To Stop It

Employee looking stressed at laptop with text

If your employees burnout – so will your company.

Burnout is scary. It can happen to employees in any position and in any industry. As an employer, your employees burning out can be one of the worst things that can happen. They’ll become disengaged with their work and struggle to meet expectations. Employers need to be conscious of employee burnout and understand what kind of measures they can put in place to prevent it. In this article we’ll touch on what burnout is, the signs to look out for, as well as building a system to cut out burnout before it can set in!

A recent report from Indeed found that employee burnout is on the rise: 52% of all workers are feeling burned out, up +9% from a pre-COVID survey. Employees sadly are dealing with a multitude of stressors that are driving them to points of no return. Earlier this month, we spoke about ‘The Great Resignation’ – a current movement where employees are quitting their workplaces at record high numbers!

It’s likely that a good number of your employees are either close to burnout or have reached it and you haven’t even realized. What’s your next move? To keep things the way they are and risk your employees leaving for new opportunities? Or change your organization and put an end to burnout in your workplace? With this guide, that decision becomes a lot easier!

 

So what exactly is employee burnout?

Before mapping out an action plan to fix everything, let’s first take a look at what exactly employee burnout is. Employee burnout can be defined in a bunch of different ways. The Mayo Clinic has a great definition for employee burnout, they say that “Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”

For a long time, employee burnout hasn’t been heavily studied or understood by HR professionals. A study by Deloitte found that 77 percent of respondents say they have experienced employee burnout at their current job, with more than half citing more than one occurrence. The survey also uncovered that employers may be missing the mark when it comes to developing mental well-being programs that their employees find valuable to address stress in the workplace. Simply put – you don’t want to be the company that doesn’t care about employee mental health.

If you’re curious about avoiding burnout, the first step is to build an employee handbook to let your employees know exactly how you’re planning on stopping burnout! With AirMason, we’ve helped companies build thousands of handbooks specifically aimed at preventing burnout while growing employee experience. Consider the impact that an employee handbook can have on your organization!

Now we know what exactly burnout is and how rampant it is in the workplace. It’s time to learn about how burnout specifically impacts employees and the impact it has on both employee performance and organizational performance. After all – employees suffering from burnout lead to a company that will suffer the consequences in their results.

 

How does employee burnout impact employee performance and organizational performance?

Employee burnout greatly impacts both employee performance and organizational performance. Employees experiencing burnout are less engaged in the work that they do, and subsequently, see major drop-offs in their performance. For employees who experience burnout, they feel very disconnected from the work that they are expected to perform, subsequently decreasing their quality. Employees need to feel connected to the work they’re doing and the company they are working for to feel motivated to perform better. Employees suffering from burnout become misaligned with their organization.

From an organizational standpoint, employees suffering from burnout can largely decrease the flow and efficiency of your workplace. Each and every one of your employees need to give their piece when it comes to working, and when that doesn’t happen you experience halts in productivity. Think of your employees as the pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. One can’t fit without the other and you can’t see the bigger picture until all the pieces are connected. Your company is just like that – you need to look at the bigger picture. As an employer responsible for making sure that all of your employees are performing at the top level, employee burnout needs to be reduced and you need to have a plan that inaction that can be used as a tool to prevent this from happening.

 

What are the signs of employee burnout?

Employee burnout can present itself in many different ways depending on the employee, but you should be prepared to notice the shift or change in how your employees act to see the warning signs. For the most common signs of employee burnout, we refer to this list:

  • Reduced efficiency and energy
  • Lowered levels of motivation
  • Increased number of errors
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Increased frustration
  • Suspiciousness
  • More time spent working with less being accomplished

You’ll also find that employees suffering from burnout often tend to hide the fact that they are experiencing burnout, or aren’t even aware that what they’re feeling is considered burnout. Employees will often say things like “I’m fine” or “I’m just tired” to try to undermine their symptoms appear fine. If you’re noticing a repetitive pattern of this, it’s very likely that your employee is suffering from burnout and needs a break!

Employees will rarely admit to their employers or managers that they’re experiencing burnout or a drop in efficiency – they don’t want to be seen as being weak or needing a break! Employees understandably don’t want to look bad in front of their employers. So it’s the employers’ responsibility to reach out to their employees to ask them how they’re doing and if they feel a sense of burnout – without any judgement.

By making the effort to reach out to your employees first and inform them of what burnout is and that it’s okay to experience it, you turn your relationship into a positive one that is one step ahead of the terror that is employee burnout. Staying on top of employee burnout is the best way to manage it!

 

Be proactive in preventing employee burnout starting today

There are a lot of first steps that you can take to fight against burnout, and what works for your organization may not work for others. But the best possible solution to stop employee burnout instantly is investing time into building an employee handbook with AirMason!

AirMason helps you instantly build an employee handbook designed to inform your employees about burnout and mental well-being and let them know your company takes a proactive approach to deal with this issue. By including policies describing employee burnout, your employee relations will skyrocket the moment employees recognize your awareness of this issue!

If you’re curious about the next steps, book a free demo today with our AirMason sales team, here to show you that no matter what size your business is, an AirMason employee handbook is your next HR tool!