Have you noticed anyone in the office who used to be productive but suddenly isn’t? Or maybe, you have an employee who used to be punctual but is now always late or absent or making careless mistakes.
When employees feel physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, when they become less capable at work, or they have reduced professional efficacy, these are all signs of burnout in the workplace.
Burnout is a term used to refer to the mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion brought on by repeated, excessive, or prolonged stress.
Although the word ‘burnout’ is often used in relation to work, it can also happen in other areas of our lives: caregiving, parenting, romantic relationships among others. What’s more, experiencing burnout in any of these areas can spill over into other aspects of our lives and affect them as well which is why it must be managed as soon as possible.
So, what causes burnout in the workplace? What are the signs to watch out and what can you do to prevent it from worsening?
Burnout in the workplace can happen because of various factors such as:
Employees drive business results. When they’re happy and engaged, they are 40% more productive and 78% more profitable.
If you have burnt out employees, the whole organization will suffer too. If it continues to be unmanaged, there will likely be an increase in employee turnover, you’ll incur additional costs, and lose revenues.
Fortunately, burnout isn’t a permanent condition. Here are some of the things you can do to prevent and manage burnout in the workplace:
Managers must make sure that performance goals are clearly communicated to employees from the start. But there must be flexibility to rework it at appropriate intervals or when it’s necessary.
If a company promotes a culture of working excessively long hours or anything that will force them to put work above their family and personal life, employees will likely suffer burnout. The same goes for a “command and control” culture where performance expectations must be met at all costs.
Create a culture of wellness in the workplace by:
Employees must feel and see work as a non-threatening place. Recognize people who think outside the box but create a culture where it is also okay to fail.
Managers who can successfully facilitate collaboration at work, remove barriers, and make employees feel supported can prevent burnout before it starts.
Empower managers with the necessary tools and knowledge so they can create a successful work environment. When they are equipped with what they need, they can greatly help reverse burnout even after it has began.
Employees who push themselves to the limit or are undergoing stresses in their personal lives can lead to burnout. Make sure to find out what’s causing the stress and give them space to recover by adjusting workloads and creating realistic expectations.
Managers are the ones responsible for managing people, but take note that they suffer too. In fact, they are more prone to burnout because they are torn between fulfilling requests from their bosses and dealing with employees at the same time.
To help managers, train them to identify the things drain them and what they can do to get back on track. Make sure to check in with them on a regular basis to make them feel supported.
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