This article will discuss the causes and consequences of employee burnout, how it impacts employee behavior and health, and what you can do to prevent it. By the end of this piece, you’ll be able to recognize the signs of burnout in your employees and help them avoid falling into a state of despair.
What Is Employee Burnout?
When it comes to employee burnout, what do you need to know? In the simplest terms, it’s a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion from chronic stress. Burnout is caused by an imbalance between the amount of stress and the resources available to cope with that stress.
A recent survey of over 1500 US employees shows that 79% are experiencing burnout. Another similar study from the research firm McKinsey shows that most burned-out employees have already left a particular organization. This shows that employee burnout is ubiquitous and can lead to an increased turnover rate.
Burnout can result from any stressful situation that feels overwhelming or out of your control, not just work-related ones. Stressors include things like financial problems or relationship issues. They can also be completely unrelated to work.
When someone experiences a tough time in their life, it can trigger symptoms associated with burnout if they don’t have robust coping mechanisms at work and outside it. Some of these signs include:
- Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities at home
- Feeling like they have too much on their plate at work
- Being unable to handle change well
- Having trouble sleeping or relaxing due to constant worry about money or family members’ health problems
The Causes of Employee Burnout
Many factors can contribute to employee burnout. When employees feel they have little control over their work environment, they become more likely to suffer from stress and exhaustion. If you’re not receiving enough recognition for doing a good job or are not given adequate time for yourself during the day, those stresses will likely add up over time until you reach a breaking point.
Another way poor management practices can lead to burnout is by creating an unsupportive work environment. If your manager doesn’t encourage collaboration and cooperation between coworkers, then it’s unlikely that you’ll receive much support when times get tough.
This lack of trust between employees makes them less motivated and, therefore, more likely to experience burnout. They would also be less happy at home because they cannot spend quality time outside of work with friends and loved ones due to the guilt associated with taking off sick days.
Harassment at the workplace can also lead to burnout. A recent case study shows that factors other than work-related stress, like control, fairness, satisfaction, harassment, etc., can also influence burnout.
The Consequences of Employee Burnout
While burnout is a common and potentially devastating condition, it’s important to remember that there are ways to prevent it. Knowing the consequences can take the proper preventative measures and provide your employees with the resources they need to avoid employee burnout.
Stress, anxiety, and depression are some common symptoms of burnout. Stress can arise when employees feel overwhelmed at work due to high work demands or constant pressure. When stress gets out of control, it can lead to more severe conditions such as depression and anxiety disorders. A recent study shows that the prevalence of work-related stress was over 45% among the employees who participated in the study.
Employee burnout is one of the most common workplace problems and can impact productivity in several ways. Burned-out employees are likelier to miss work and arrive late than their non-burned-out peers. They’re also more likely to make work mistakes, affecting productivity. A recent cross-sectional study reveals that productivity decreases as workplace stress increases.
Impact Employee Behavior
Even if an employee isn’t experiencing physical symptoms of burnout, it can still hurt the way they behave. Employees who are burned out may exhibit a negative attitude towards their job, be less productive and motivated, and become unfocused and disengaged. These things will impact your company’s productivity in their own way.
How to Prevent Burnout and Improve Employee Engagement
How do you prevent burnout and improve employee engagement? There are many ways to do this. For example, you can ensure the development of a fun and calm workplace, help employees create work-life balance, prevent micromanagement, and others.
Encourage Fun Moments at Workplace to Prevent Employee Burnout
It’s a fact that work can be stressful. But you don’t have to let it get the best of you. You can make your work environment more enjoyable by creating fun moments that help prevent employee burnout.
One way to do this is by encouraging happy hour at work. Happy hours allow employees to feel more connected with each other, which makes them more likely to want to come back after a vacation or sick leave.
You can also plan different themes and consider the games you might want to have during the happy hours. Besides the games, an excellent menu can also help the employees relax. You can connect with a happy hour catering service provider to get a wide array of options. The caterer will help you decide on dishes your employees will enjoy while communicating with each other during happy hours.
Promote Vacations to Prevent Employee Burnout
One effective way to prevent employee burnout is to give your employees time away from work. This can be done by creating a culture where vacation time is valued and encouraged. Research to study the connection between vacations and creativity shows that employees who take regular vacations are more relaxed and creative at work. To promote vacations, you’ll need to ensure that your employees have enough annual vacation days.
Some organizations offer unlimited leave policies, while others limit how many days employees can take off in a year. If yours falls into the latter category, consider allowing some flexibility when it comes to vacations.
You may find that once they realize they can take their allotted time whenever they like, even if it’s not during the customary summer or winter break periods, your staff will begin taking more time off in general than before.
Eliminate Micromanaging to Prevent Burnout
As a manager, it can be tempting to micromanage. You want to ensure that your employees do their jobs correctly and meet all deadlines. However, excessive micromanagement is counterproductive and creates an unhealthy work environment where your team members will be more likely to experience burnout.
A recent study shows that 79% of employees believe that they are micromanaged. What’s sad is that 85% of employees feel micromanaging impacts their morale.
One of the most common techniques for preventing burnout is creating an environment where employees feel trusted and valued by their managers. This means trusting your employees with projects and responsibilities they can handle independently while providing guidance when necessary, ideally in a supportive way rather than controlling or stifling.
A lack of trust between employees and managers can lead to feelings of frustration on both sides. While managers may feel frustrated because they don’t feel like they have control over their department’s performance, employees may feel insulted or taken advantage of if they’re asked to do tasks without proper training or direction from management.
Ensure Clear Communications to Prevent Employee Burnout
Clear communication is essential to prevent employee burnout. Here are some tips on how to communicate effectively with your employees:
- Communicate expectations. When you can clearly articulate what is expected of your employees, they will feel more confident and, as a result, less likely to experience burnout.
- Communicate outcomes. When you can explain how their work impacts the company and customer base, it helps give them ownership of their work and provides a sense of purpose that may help prevent burnout.
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of employee burnout and how it can affect your organization’s productivity and overall well-being. You can help your employees stay engaged and avoid burnout with the right strategies. We recommend starting by making sure that they take regular breaks from work so they can recharge their batteries.