Employee burnout isn’t just a minor problem, and it doesn’t simply reflect an individual employee’s inability to manage his own work-life balance. Employers who ignore the signs of burnout do so at their own peril. This is a management problem, not an employee problem, and if it’s left untreated, the result can be huge slowdowns in team productivity, low morale, high turnover and the loss of highly talented and valuable employees. It’s worth noting that some of the most talented and dedicated employees are also the ones that are the most vulnerable to burnout. So intelligent managers protect the company by protecting the mental health of their workers.
Here are some of the signs that it’s time to intervene and address a burnout problem among both teams and individuals.
Signs of Individual Burnout: A Burned Out Employee Tends to….
1. Take a high number of sick and PTO days.
2. Experience physical symptoms like headaches, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue
3. Become hypercritical, irritable, and tense
4. Respond angrily to criticism
5. Express no enjoyment or interest in activities that were once pleasurable and rewarding
6. Express resentment toward managers and coworkers
7. Start subtly or openly looking for employment and opportunity elsewhere.
If you notice an employee showing any or all of the indicators above, talk to the employee personally before determining a course of action. Ask her privately about possible health or family issues, and find out what might be done to accommodate her need for change, variety, engagement, or motivation.
Signs of Team/General Workplace Burnout
If your workplace has become a high-burnout zone, you’ll need to act quickly and decisively to change the culture. If you don’t, a downward spiral may begin that can cause immeasurable harm to company growth. Watch out for signs like these:
1. A workplace that’s unusually quiet. A healthy working environment should include natural light, low grade chatter, and activity that’s busy but not rushed or frantic.
2. A general spirit of mistrust. Don’t allow or encourage your employees to become too competitive or to take competition against their own teammates too seriously. An atmosphere of fairness and collaboration can go a long way toward preventing burnout.
3. An unusual rise in interpersonal conflict.
4. An unusual rise in lateness.
5. A spike in colds, flu, fatigue related illness, and illness related to muscle and joint pain.
There are several steps you can take to fight back against burnout, and the method you choose will depend on your industry, your culture, and the demands and desires of your employees. To find out more about what your tired employees want and need in order to complete their jobs properly, arrange a consultation with the Little Rock Staffing and performance management experts at CSS.