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How to manage employee burnout: a guide for business managers

As an HR manager, employer or business owner, it is important you pay tight attention to your employee’s state of mind and physical strength.

NWOW Staff
May 12, 2022
Date Published
9
Time to read
Psychological safety
Category

As an HR manager, employer or business owner, it is important you pay tight attention to your employee’s state of mind and physical strength. Your employees can't operate at their best if they lack the enthusiasm or energy to perform the tasks you hire them for. It is, therefore, noteworthy, you know when they are energetic and when they start feeling overworked.

According to a Gallup Poll in 2022, 76% of employees feel burnout once in a while. While 23% feel burnt out quite often, if not always.

Further research by the World Health Organization explains that these burnouts result from  energy depletion, loss of enthusiasm in the job, and lack of efficiency to continue. Whichever the case may be, you need to be updated on what is up with your employees.

Table of contents

Understanding Employee Burnout

Burnout simply means when an individual is emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted with a particular activity due to prolonged stress. Burnout affects every area of life—home, work, and relationships. It usually occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.

Burnout tends to make employees less productive, thereby sapping their energy and leaving them feeling helpless, hopeless, uninterested, and easily annoyed. This eventually makes them feel they have little or nothing to offer in the workplace.  In such situations, employees often experience prolonged stress, leading to an inability to meet goals and expectations. This makes the employees lose interest in their work, which, in turn, affects their productivity.  You will even notice that the rate at which Employees ask for vacation leave is high. They look fatigued, feeling that they are helpless and have nothing to offer.

What are the types of burnout?

You may want to inquire, what exactly may cause a drop in my employees' performance? Understanding the different types of employee burnout will help you notice and tackle it anytime. 

Overload Burnout

The employees have the ever-burning passion and will to achieve success at the employees' cost (personal Life and Health) by working hard. This usually occurs when such employees prefer to tend to their work needs rather than theirs. They often don't have time or even energy for themselves and feel exhausted completely.

Consequently, the employees tend to depend on their emotions to cope with the stress.

Under Challenged Burnout

Another common cause of burnout is when employees feel unappreciated and are bored in their workplace. This occurs a lot because their workplace does not give room for learning and personal development and growth, so they do things limited to what they know, leading to the monotonous and unstimulating activities that give them no satisfaction in what they do.

Employees do not find passion in their work, nor do they enjoy it. Hence, they find it easy to work by distancing themselves from work, avoiding responsibilities, and minimizing their engagement in their work, unlike Overload Burnout.

In an organization, you will always find 3 out of every 10 to 15 employees with this type of burnout.

Worn Out Burnout

The third type of burnout can only be experienced when the employee finds themselves in situations where they are willing to leave problems unsolved, feeling that they are incompetent to do the work. They always think that they will never be able to keep up with the job's demands and expectations, so whenever they try to meet up with the work, they face some barriers, which leads to their unanimous decision of giving up on the job. 

          

This makes employees feel helpless, inadequate, inefficient, and passive. Some people also call it burnout.

Causes of burnout at work

Now we are aware of how burnout can occur among the employees. There is always a cause to every effect, which is why we will be addressing the causes of burnout, especially at work. Although work burnout has always been a symptom of the rapid development of the workplace through the implementation of technology into modern workplaces, which has made them more complex and more demanding, technology is always great whenever it is kept in a balance. Well, the main causes of Workplace burnout are nailed down to 5, which include the following:

1. Uncontrollable workload.

When the workload is much more than the capacity the Employees can handle, it makes them feel pessimistic and unwilling to achieve the goals and expectations required of them. Some employees have a workload as voluminous, thinking about many things like the time it will take them to finish the work, how difficult the work is, and even how many tasks they will have to complete alongside the work.

The way Employees perceive their work has a lot of effect on the stress they experience with the work.

2. Unjust Treatment from the manager

Every form of treatment that all employees experience in their workplace is always denoted as either fair, unfair, or neutral. Still, when they notice they are being treated unfairly, it may be due to different types of issues such as an employee's preference over another, being unjust with decisions, and so on; these make the employees burn out faster.

This leads to distrust among employees, even towards their manager or executive heads, creating a loophole in their relationship with each other. This causes burnout, as they feel they're not accepted by the organization or work environment.

3. Ambiguous form of communication from the manager.

When employees are assigned to do particular work, they are provided with the information needed to perform it. The results obtained from that work will result from the given information. Suppose the information given to them is not showing their performance expectations and their impact on the work. In that case, the employees may be exhausted and frustrated by their results instead of what the manager expects from them. So this also leads to employee burnout.

4. Inadequate Managerial Support.

The feeling of having someone to ask for support is always pleasing and encouraging, but whenever they are not there to support, it always makes the work more confusing and exhausting. It sometimes brings doubts about whether one is doing it right or not. The same applies to work; lack of support from the manager always causes the employee to burn out. 

Employees' burnout in the first place can be prevented if the manager's support is sufficient enough to encourage the employees and remove any doubts they have in their ability. Still, if it is the other way round, it will lead to employee burnout.

5. Unnecessary Time pressure on Employees.

Time pressure can also cause an Employee to burn out. Whenever Employees are pressured, they often miss their deadlines and fall behind in their work. It is undebatable that the way everyone handles stress differs from one another, which narrows down to the employee's natural traits to carry the work even when under time pressure, but when their natural traits are mismatched with the work, unreasonable time pressure will make such employee perform below the standards, having the feeling that they're not suitable or capable of the job assigned.

Notably, individuals handle time pressure differently. Employees who are a natural fit for a role tend to work more efficiently and sustain high performance for longer periods. Asking an Employee to continue carrying out tasks they are not good at may cause the employee to undergo stress and commit errors, leading to corrections from the head of the organization, and if not communicated well, it can cause burnout.

In other words, the decrease in the participation and engagement of employees at work is the basic way employees deal with prolonged stress, which causes their burnout.

How to figure out employee burnout?

Every problem has a solution so, knowing the causes of burnout alone won't be sufficient to know the signs and symptoms of employee burnout and how to solve it when it happens.

So the following are the main signs and symptoms that show that Employee Burnout is about to step in or is already on display:

  1. Employees experience constant tiredness and fatigue: mentally, physically, and even emotionally. They could come to work looking less concerned about their look or behavior, that's a clear sign that burnout is manifesting.
  1. Employees are not motivated by their work. They only work because it is necessary.
  1. They often feel helpless and depressed.
  1. They are always exhausted and inefficient.
  1. They experience resentment and self-doubts.
  1. They feel frustrated and unhappy with what they produce. They feel what they delivered is not good enough.

The above are the major signs and symptoms you will notice when Employees are burned out. As an employer or business manager, it is now imperative we proffer solutions to these burnouts. The guidelines below will be of excellent help.

  1. Engaging in Regular meetings with employees that will involve work matters and their personal life, and how they are coping with them. We all know that communication is the key, so communicating with employees can effectively help in a burnout situation.
  1. Explaining the importance of work-life balance for the employees will help them understand when and when not to carry out some further actions on their work.
  1. Allocating vacation times appropriately to the employees will ensure that your employees are given enough time to take out their stress and enjoy a bit of mental freedom.
  1. Promoting workplace wellness among the employees, and their well-being in the workplace should be well known to them.
  1. Help create goals and career paths for your employees; whenever a goal is not clearly stated for a particular work, it may induce stress and depression in the employee's mind.
  1. Entertain employees' Feedback. This is an important part of knowing what they need and will help redefine how they intend to carry out their work.
  1. Make available an employee assistant program.
  1. Make job details and expectations well stated to the employees before giving them the work. 

All these are effective ways to ensure that Employees burnout is eradicated and curbed.

What are the risk factors of job burnout?

Some factors even lead to an increase in the alarming rate at which an employee can experience burnout faster. They include:

1. Overload of work

Some Employees work excessively to keep up with the firm's workload. Some hardly have time to recharge and regain their strength from the prolonged stress. When the demand and expectations push the employees beyond their capacity, their energy sources will be overloaded with work and reduce productivity.

2. Inadequate control

Stress results from how well we think we have control over the demands and expectations we are given. A voluminous workload saps a lot of energy from the employees. When there is no way of compensating for the extra effort an employee puts in to meet up with the overloaded expectations, they start to disengage themselves.

3. Absence of fair play

Employees may start feeling that offering extra efforts to the company's growth is cheating. Such may occur when they notice increased company performance without extra compensation for their contribution. Employees can become discouraged and start seeing the extra effort as valueless. 

4. Environment

The continuous changes in a workplace or organization can reduce the effect of support systems and leave employees stranded on their own as they put in more effort to do more than they are equipped for. Employees feel more unappreciated whenever they sense little or no care; thus, they disengage from work.

5. Opposite values

Employees whose beliefs, ideologies, or values contradict the ones slated in their workplaces will have more reasons to disengage and withdraw from such an organization, putting burnout at a higher risk of occurring.

How to prevent employee burnou

The following are ways you can implement to prevent the intrusion of employee burnout right from the onset before they take effect. They include:

  1. Always make sure that the well-being of you and your employees is part of your culture. Make sure you always put your well-being into consideration when making decisions.
  2. Develop a strategy to make your employees' experience better so that it will reduce the risk of them burning out.
  3. Ensure to educate your employees about the problem itself, employee burnout, to fix the problem right from the root.
  4. Focus more on your employees' personal development and lifestyle; this will help allocate work appropriately and assure you of your expectations and demands.
  5. Train your employees to adapt to quick identification of issues that saps them of their energy and passion and how to make a plan to get them back on their tracks

Summary

Finally, employee burnout can be prevented from happening; it is in action already. There are also solutions to how it can be done. The major thing here is to always include your employees in the decision-making process related to the work, pay undiluted attention to them, avoid making new work for them in the middle of already speculated work, understand what each work demands and keep open communication with the concerned employee, and also ensure to keep a very friendly environment at work to motivate them and induce their productivity greatly.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

As an HR manager, employer or business owner, it is important you pay tight attention to your employee’s state of mind and physical strength.

What’s a Rich Text element?What’s a Rich Text element?What’s a Rich Text element?What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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