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How to Prevent Employee Burnout at Work


Have you noticed an employee or two becoming more irritable while at work? Do they seem less enthusiastic about doing their job? Are they not as productive as they used to be? It’s possible that they are suffering from burnout, a common problem related to chronic workplace stress.

Addressing Job Burnout: How Great Managers Improve Employee Experiences at Work

Although stress might not seem like a pressing issue – everyone has stressful days at work, it has been proven that low employee morale negatively affects productivity and stress can affect that morale. As a manager, you have the responsibility to address this issue for the betterment of your employees. Happy and satisfied employees perform better, which will positively affect the business as a whole.

Educating yourself on the subject of burnout gives you the ability to properly address it. Moreover, familiarity with it allows you to adopt preventive measures in the long-term.

Understanding Job Burnout and Its Effects on Employees and the Business

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently diagnosed burnout as a legitimate medical condition. The medical phenomenon is specific to work environments and should not be contextualized in other scenarios.

What causes burnout in your employees?

Burnout results from several factors that vary per employee. Learning how to identify these different determinants gives you the ability to address them before the situation worsens.

An imbalance between one’s work and personal life is one of the most common reasons employees suffer from burnout. When their work takes up too much of their time, they don’t have the energy for family and friends. The situation creates emotional turmoil — a precursor to burnout.

A work environment of extremes is another determinant. When your employees’ tasks are extremely monotonous or overtly chaotic, they have difficulty concentrating. The energy they need to stay focused causes mental fatigue which results in burnout.

Unclear job expectations, such as vague instructions, can be stressful for some employees. When they don’t have the necessary information or direction required to do their job properly, they are likely to feel uncomfortable and insecure in their position. This causes burnout in the sense that they are in constant fear of losing their job.

How Do You Know an Employee is Suffering from Burnout?

Burnout has several symptoms; they range from an employee’s lack of enthusiasm in their job to their isolation from everyone else in the office. However, the WHO has determined three main dimensions that characterize these symptoms for easier identification.

Energy depletion or exhaustion

Fatigue is a clear physical symptom of burnout. The mental fatigue they experience from burnout can develop into physical fatigue which has negative implications, such as lowered immunity and frequent headaches.

Mental Distance and Negative Feelings

Burnout negatively affects your employees’ mental health. It raises feelings of helplessness and defeat which are counterproductive to their growth and development.

Reduced professional efficacy

When burnout is left untreated, it results in behavioral problems in employees. From irritable behavior towards other employees to withdrawal from responsibilities, all of these can impact your operations.

What are the Implications of Burnout to the Business?

The general dimensions of burnout present a quick overview of how burnout affects your business performance. Absenteeism due to the condition has major productivity and financial implications to a business. On average, companies lose approximately $84 billion every year due to lost productivity.

Burnout also affects employee retention. When your employees no longer feel joy in their work, they are more likely to look for another company to work with. About 46 percent of Human Resource experts claim that employee burnout is responsible for 20 to 50 percent of annual workforce turnovers.

The consequential damage caused by burnout to your business should be enough motivation to find the appropriate solutions to prevent the medical condition in your employees.

Improving the Work Environment to Prevent Burnout

There is no quick fix to employee burnout. The solution isn’t as simple as reducing their workload or sending them off on vacation. A change in company culture is necessary to acquire real and effective results.

Encourage communication

Engagement, specifically through communication, prevents burnout. Giving your employees the platform or time to discuss their work and career with you fosters trust. This opens the door for open dialogue where they can feel comfortable to discuss matters that are affecting their work. You can then assist them in finding solutions that are appropriate for them and the company.

Build on strengths

Each of your employees has something they excel at professionally. When you build on these strengths and allow them to excel, they are less likely to experience burnout. Additionally, providing them with the opportunity to grow and develop improves their performance because they will feel more engaged and motivated.

Improve teamwork

Setting team goals encourages collaboration and improves teamwork. A bond is formed when your employees work towards the same goals. This bond can act as another form of emotional support in times of need.

Acknowledge accomplishments

Recognition of hard work goes a long way in improving employee morale. When your employees feel acknowledged and appreciated, their outlook on work is improved. This positive reinforcement encourages them to continue or even do better in future projects.

Create incentives

Motivation can be hard to come by when employees feel stressed and overworked. Providing employees with incentives, such as corporate travel or even a bonus, shows them that you are appreciative of their hard work. These incentives encourage them to improve their performance which is beneficial for the business.

Creating change with a top-down approach

As a manager, you are expected to continuously develop your leadership skills for the betterment of your employees and the business as a whole. Your capability as a manager is a major factor in employee satisfaction. Showing them that you are taking the necessary steps to improve your skills encourages them to do the same with theirs.

Leadership training that is focused on employee well-being and mental health gives you important insights on how to address burnout at its core. It sets the stage for measures that prevent the common causes of the medical condition. Additionally, when implemented correctly, these solutions create an open and collaborative environment that encourages creativity and enhances productivity.

Working with MTI Events

Adopting and implementing employee-centric solutions creates an environment that prevents burnout. Training programs and employee incentives are just some of the ways you can accomplish this. MTI Events has the expertise and resources to help you create these types of programs that will benefit your employees and your business. Contact us today for more information.


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