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How To Prevent Employee Burnout: 7 Steps for a Satisfied Team

Cassandra Rose, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
How to Prevent Employee Burnout in the Workplace


No mat­ter how sta­ble an organization’s team, envi­ron­ment and prof­it seem, employ­ee burnout is always a risk. Even before the coro­n­avirus dis­rupt­ed the work­place, 76% of employ­ees report­ed feel­ing burned out on occa­sion, while 28% report­ed ​“near-con­stant” or ​“often” lev­els of burnout.

With abrupt changes to work envi­ron­ments, wide­spread under­staffing and increased stress lev­els, peo­ple are feel­ing more burned out than ever. In fact, in a post-pan­dem­ic world, burnout may, unfor­tu­nate­ly, be the new normal.

What Is Employee Burnout?

What Is Employee Burnout?


Employ­ee burnout is a type of exhaus­tion that employ­ees feel when they are stretched beyond their lim­its. It affects peo­ple phys­i­cal­ly, emo­tion­al­ly and men­tal­ly and can pre­cip­i­tate bouts of depres­sion and anxiety.

It typ­i­cal­ly occurs after pro­longed peri­ods of high stress with lit­tle to no reprieve. Oth­er caus­es include:

  • Lack of sup­port or com­mu­ni­ca­tion from super­vi­sors and team leaders.
  • Unman­age­able work­loads with unrea­son­able deadlines.
  • Unfair or dis­re­spect­ful treat­ment from oth­er employ­ees, super­vi­sors or executives.

To be clear, this isn’t some­thing that just affects entry- or mid-lev­el employ­ees, either. Burnout can impact any per­son at any lev­el of an orga­ni­za­tion, and it is the company’s respon­si­bil­i­ty to mit­i­gate the cir­cum­stances that per­pet­u­ate it.

The Signs of Employee Burnout

The Signs of Employee Burnout


Super­vi­sors, exec­u­tives and even oth­er employ­ees should be con­stant­ly vig­i­lant and hyper-aware of the well-being of their team mem­bers. There are many signs of employ­ee burnout, including:

  1. Decreased lev­els of productivity
  2. Signs of phys­i­cal exhaus­tion, like chron­ic yawn­ing, slug­gish­ness and low­er ener­gy levels
  3. Increased sen­si­tiv­i­ty to con­struc­tive feedback
  4. Iso­la­tion and dis­en­gage­ment from team members
  5. Increased lev­els of job dis­sat­is­fac­tion, usu­al­ly vocal­ized around oth­er team mem­bers and supervisors
  6. Work avoid­ance and increased absenteeism

Every per­son with­in an orga­ni­za­tion should take it upon them­selves to reach out, offer solu­tions or bring it to the imme­di­ate atten­tion of a super­vi­sor when they see these issues manifest.

7 Ways to Prevent Employee Burnout and Create a Happy Team

7 Ways to Prevent Employee Burnout and Create a Happy Team


1. Practice Transparency and Open Communication

To com­bat the inevitable iso­la­tion and dis­en­gage­ment that comes with employ­ee burnout, orga­ni­za­tions should try to main­tain a high lev­el of trans­paren­cy and open com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Employ­ees should feel com­fort­able talk­ing to their super­vi­sors about their needs. Addi­tion­al­ly, com­pa­nies should reg­u­lar­ly ask for feed­back to ensure they’re active­ly engag­ing with their team.

2. Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

One of the largest con­trib­u­tors to employ­ee burnout is the lack of a work-life bal­ance. When employ­ees feel they spend all their time work­ing and no time with their friends and fam­i­ly, they will begin to resent their employ­er. Enabling employ­ees to have an active and hap­py home life is a crit­i­cal part of pre­vent­ing employ­ee burnout.

3. Check in With Employees Regularly

In addi­tion to being trans­par­ent and open­ly com­mu­ni­cat­ing, team lead­ers, super­vi­sors and exec­u­tives should check in with their employ­ees as often as pos­si­ble. This is the most effec­tive way to allow employ­ees the oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak up. One way to accom­plish this is by insti­tut­ing month­ly or bi-month­ly one-on-one or team meetings.

4. Provide Flexible Work Environments

Provide Flexible Work Environments


Sta­tis­ti­cal­ly speak­ing, rough­ly 90% of employ­ees say they pre­fer flex­i­bil­i­ty regard­ing when or where they work. Pro­vid­ing flex­i­ble work envi­ron­ments is a great way to reduce burnout because it gives peo­ple free­dom. When giv­en a choice, employ­ees will often go out of their way to prove them­selves. Plus, it’s always a good idea to loosen the reins, reduce micro-man­age­ment and allow employ­ees to thrive on their own.

5. Provide Career Advancement Opportunities

Peo­ple should nev­er feel stuck or feel like they’re out of options. If orga­ni­za­tions want to pre­vent employ­ee burnout, they should active­ly pro­vide oppor­tu­ni­ties for their team mem­bers to grow, learn and advance. Upward mobil­i­ty and recog­ni­tion are crit­i­cal parts of employ­ee hap­pi­ness and well-being.

6. Prioritize Wellness and Well-Being

Employ­ee burnout is a mul­ti-faceted lev­el of exhaus­tion that requires a mul­ti-dimen­sion­al solu­tion. If orga­ni­za­tions want to pre­vent burnout, they must pri­or­i­tize their employ­ees’ phys­i­cal, emo­tion­al and men­tal well-being. It’s not enough to ask ques­tions and mon­i­tor. If an orga­ni­za­tion wants to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence in its people’s lives, it must enact poli­cies and pro­vide ben­e­fits catered to their indi­vid­ual needs.

7. Offer Customizable Lifestyle Benefits

The best way to offer ben­e­fits that pos­i­tive­ly impact an employee’s life is to give them options. Fringe’s cus­tomiz­able ben­e­fits plat­form gives orga­ni­za­tions the abil­i­ty to pro­vide per­son­al­ized lifestyle ben­e­fits. This solu­tion elim­i­nates the one-size-fits-all approach and allows employ­ees to choose the ben­e­fits that will sig­nif­i­cant­ly impact their lives. By cater­ing to indi­vid­ual needs, com­pa­nies can help com­bat burnout on an indi­vid­ual level.

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