How to Prevent Employee Burnout

Workplace Wellbeing
March 1, 2022
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Employee burnout isn’t always easily recognizable when it’s happening. It can be more challenging to identify who is at risk for potential burnout in the future if there are no clear signs. Being able to recognize the risk factors for employee burnout is critical. More so, prevention and staying ahead of potential employee burnout is the best solution of all.

If you can understand what causes burnout, you can create your corporate wellness program to help tackle it. Employee wellness is key to the success of any business. This blog will cover the main causes of burnout and how you can combat it through your corporate wellness programs.

What Causes Burnout?

When we think of burnout, we tend to think of it simply as “having too much work.” That is undoubtedly a part of it. Not getting enough of a break throughout the workday is also a significant source of burnout. An additional risk factor is when the life-work balance starts to dissolve. Any employee who has to take work home, or works excessive overtime, is on the path to burnout.

However, there are other factors at play. It’s not only the amount of work an individual does but the type of work they do. An employee who is engaged in their work will find fulfillment in their job, and this can help leaps and bounds. If an employee feels their work or contributions are useless or of little value, they’re going to find it much more taxing and stressful.

Of course, burnout can also stem from your employees’ personal lives. If an employee is dealing with emotional stress or trauma then trying to deal with work on top of that will be an immense burden. One of the keys to good employee wellness is building communication and trust with your employees, so you can better react to their ever-changing personal situations. 

An often overlooked component of burnout is the social aspect. If employees become isolated or lack meaningful social connections, they become significantly more vulnerable to burnout. Having a network to share the day-to-day stresses or offer a support system goes a long way. If your employees work remotely or work independently, employers should look for opportunities to bridge the gap between their team members. Even small steps like hosting fun team-building activities virtually or in the office, or inviting employees to sit together at lunch can give them the sense of a social network they can rely on. 

Recognizing Burnout

Not everyone will manifest burnout in the same way, and there’s no “secret” to recognizing it emerging in your employees. A key component of any corporate wellness program is getting a feel for your employees when they are at their best. That way, you can understand what their baseline is day-to-day and you can better recognize when and how they are struggling.

There are a few signs of burnout that are more common than others. Learning this is important to recognizing burnout in yourself or others. Firstly, burnout can manifest itself physically. If you are constantly exhausted and getting sick, you may be suffering from burnout. Other physical signs can be changes in appetite, headaches, and even muscle pain and bowel problems. 

Secondly, burnout can change behavior. Greater irritability or withdrawal from social situations is one significant sign of burnout. Employees suffering from burnout will often suffer from procrastination as the workload becomes unbearable. Motivation will generally fall, as well as a capacity to concentrate. 

How to Fight Burnout in the Workplace

The best first step you can take in fighting burnout is to be willing to talk about it. Your employees need to recognize burnout in themselves and others and be willing to approach you to talk about it. If employees feel that reporting their burnout will negatively affect their chance for success at your company, they will enter a spiral of isolation.

Ensuring that you provide employees with the tools to fight burnout physically and mentally is also important. Providing a more flexible work schedule can help employees find time for things like sleep and exercise, improving their mental fitness.

Lastly, your corporate wellness program must include resources for mental fitness. These give employees the tools to recognize their burnout and be more mindful of their current mental state, while building a toolkit to alleviate symptoms. Make sure to check out our corporate wellness program to learn more.

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