employee burnout

Employee burnout is a common problem that many businesses face. 

When you have a new team keeping them productive while not overloading them can be a common issue.  If you do not know the signs and how to prevent it, that great team member can get employee burnout.  Do you have a team member that not performing the same way as before?  Learn to identify and ways to stop employee burnout in your business. 

What causes employee burnout?  

Work overload.  Many times, an employee is doing so good at their job and they are given more to handle because of it. What some managers forget is that they can be potentially increasing their stress levels.  Some people thrive on having increased responsibilities and tasks.  Others develop anxiety and stress when they start working on all the additional workload. 

Boredom.  The work is monotonous and they don’t feel challenged. 

Lack of Appreciation.  They may feel unappreciated and overlooked. 

Disorganization.  They may be working in an unorganized and chaotic environment causing they to constantly be reinventing the wheel. Lacking organization can also cause employee burnout.   

What are some of the warning signs to look for?  

 They are disinterested. Plain and simple, they just don’t care anymore and their attitude shows it. 

Work is missing or they show up late. Any excuse they can have to be off and not go to work is becoming a weekly occurrence.  They show up late with no excuse.  We all have our emergencies, but this becomes a more common occurrence. 

Frustration and complaints are daily occurences.  The demeanor has changed towards you or their customers.  There is a noticeable attitude change and they seem easily bothered.  They may also complain out loud about tasks. 

Deadlines are not being met.  They are not meeting the deadline or have the initiative to get their work completed in time.  Worse, they don’t show like they care when they miss that deadline.  

How can you help prevent employee burnout?

Be empathetic to their needs and capabilities. 

Be proactive.  

Keep open lines of communication and be approachable.  A team member will not talk to you and tell you they are overwhelmed  unless they feel they are in a trusting environment.  When you have an open-door policy with them, they will feel more comfortable being honest with you. 

With being proactive, this also means approaching them and asking them how they are doing.  You want to know that they are content. If not,  the following steps help you do your part as a leader. 

Keep them engaged. 

Give them the opportunity to use some of their skills that use their creativity.  For example, if you have a manager that  loves to use web and copy design, have them collaborate on a project. 

Offer to send them to workshops and online courses for new skills they are interested in.  If you give them the opportunity to thrive they will stay engaged and enjoy what they are doing. 

Show appreciation.  

Encourage them to take days off by showing a token of appreciation and giving them a “de-stress” day on you. 

Buy the company lunch or give them thank you gift cards for coffee or their favorite store.  Your team is remote? Use e-gift cards. 

Remember it does not have to be expensive.  What is important is giving them a token of appreciation along with the thank you, so they know you notice the great work they are doing. 

Encourage vacations. 

Make it easy for them to use days off for personal and vacation time.  If you have a team member that is so indispensable, you need systems in place.  You need to have a plan in place so that they can take a vacation and not have to worry about work. 

Offer some flex-time or to work from home.  

Offer some flexibility in their hours.  When a team member knows they can leave a little early due to a personal event, they appreciate it. 

Give them the opportunity to work from home if their schedule and responsibilities permit. You can offer they try it once a week if you have a brick and mortar business. This can make a difference in their emotional well-being. 

Check to see if you have a work environment that is comfortable and safe for productivity and well-being.

Show equal appreciation and check your demeanor.  

Pay attention what you say and how you say it to them.  As a team leader, you give your team messages both in your body language and your attitude towards them. This is manifested in the way you speak and interact with them. 

Consider team bonding activities. 

Create an environment that helps your team feel like they belong and are part of its successes.  You don’t have to do formal team bonding exercises like they suggest.  If everyone is in the same local area, go out to lunch or dinner. Some business owners do fun activities that involve sports or entertainment. 

Not in the same location?  If you have a small team, save up for an annual team weekend. It may be a cost for your company, but you are investing in the foundation of your company, your team. 

 Keep it simple. 

As you can see, keeping your team content and motivated is an important part of preventing employee burn-out. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself in working hard to keep them happy.  If you make a daily effort to show that you value them, keep an open line of communication and give them flexibility to be creative and with their time, it will make a difference. 

Developing the meaningful relationship within your team will create a work culture and environment that your team will look forward to working at every day.  When you create that type of culture, not only will they be successful, but you will too. 

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