How to Recognize and Put a Stop to Employee Burnout

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Many, if not all, companies deal with employee burnout. When employees feel burnt out and under-appreciated, then productivity and revenue of the company decreases. Are you worried an employee’s flame is sputtering? Here are the most common signs of a burnt out employee.

Missing in action

When an employee suddenly starts missing work more often than normal, it’s usually a sign that the employee is burnt out. This is especially true if the employee who begins missing hardly ever missed a day before.

Showing up to work late or leaving early

This is a very common sign that an employee is feeling the stress of work. When an employee is struggling to find meaning in their job, they will try to limit their time at work as much as possible. By still coming to work they reduce the chance of being noticed by their superiors.

Lack of motivation

A once productive and highly motivated employee who suddenly becomes slack and begins missing deadlines is an employee who is dealing with burnout.


Employees will begin to feel frustrated if their work seems to amount to nothing. Frustration can also be an effect of a poor work environment. Whatever may be causing your employee’s frustration, it will eventually leave him or her feeling burnt out.

Increased illness

This is a huge sign that your employee is dealing with burnout. Burnt out employees are often stressed and stretched to their limits. This leads to stress-related illnesses that take them away from their work, which in turn lowers your company’s productivity.

Loss of interest

Does one of your most positive employees suddenly seem down and unenthused? Chances are that this employee could be dealing with burnout. It is hard to feel enthusiastic about a job that no longer feels satisfying.


When an employee no longer enjoys their job, they begin to become reclusive and isolate themselves from others within the workplace.

Remember, just because someone is displaying one of these signs does not necessarily mean that they are burnt out, it could just be a part of their personality or they could be dealing with obstacles at home that are in turn translating to the work place. The best way to determine the cause of your employees’ actions is by getting to know them, so you can more easily identify changes in their behavior.

What can you do?

Now that we have discussed the signs of employee burnout, I am sure you are keenly interested in knowing how to reverse or prevent it altogether. The first thing you should know is that there is no quick fix to employee burnout. Simply sending someone off on a vacation is not going to be a cure all. Changes should be made within the workplace itself to limit employee burnout.

Hold staff meetings

Give your employees a chance to discuss what they are working on and any issues they may have. This allows your employees to have a voice within the company.

Focus on the positives

When an employee begins to feel burnt out, they begin to focus only on the negatives of the job. They completely forget about the positives. Bring back the positive side of the job by emphasizing the benefits of working for your company.

Give recognition

Any person is bound to feel burnt out if all their hard work is ignored and unappreciated. When a boss or manager recognizes their employees and the hard work they do, then employees feel appreciated and are more likely to work harder.

Give clear expectations

If there are no expectations, then it is hard for an employee to become engaged in their work. It is difficult to know exactly what is wanted of you when no one can make it clear to you.

Motivate your employees

Nothing is worse than working without a purpose. Once you find out what motivates your employees, use it to give them purpose to their work. Nothing is more motivating to an employee than having an end goal to strive for.

Promote stress relief

Stress is a major factor in decreased productivity. When a job becomes too stressful, it is hard to continue and no longer seems worth the trouble. Encouraging stress relievers helps employees to unwind from work and come back to it fresh and stress free.

Take it outside

Getting outside can work wonders for employees stuck inside all day. Whether you encourage outside breaks or walks during lunch, employees will come back feeling energized. No one likes to sit at a desk all day.

Encourage vacations

What person doesn’t enjoy a relaxing vacation? Well, you would be surprised how many workers do not take advantage of the vacation days offered them. Keep track of your employees’ vacation days and make sure that they use them. Taking a break and getting away from the office can relieve stress and refresh an individual’s work resolve.

Reward your employees

Give raises when raises are due. Do not just reward employees you like. Reward those who work hard and deserve to be recognized for their efforts. Sometimes just saying a kind word is not enough. Action shows greater appreciation.

Develop your leadership skills

Continually develop your skills by going to leadership trainings. Though these can sometimes feel like a waste of time, you will learn a thing or two about building up your employees and creating a strong workforce for your company.

Send your employees to training

Sometimes the best way to motivate an employee is to give them the opportunity to climb within the company or increase their pay by increasing their knowledge. No one likes to feel like they are stuck in one place.

Assign tasks accordingly

Assign tasks that fit the unique abilities of each employee. True, giving an employee something more difficult than they are used to can help them learn and grow, but if that employee does not have the skills necessary to complete the task set before them, they can become discouraged and less productive. Make sure you know an employee is able to handle a task before you give it to them.

Being able to recognize and put a stop to employee burnout in your company will increase your productivity and revenue. While this is true, more importantly, it will create a great work environment every employee will be happy to work in. Take a hard look at your company and make the necessary changes that will transform it from good to great.

How do you keep your employees from feeling burnt out?


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Micaiah Sowards
Posted in Management

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