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What is Employee Burnout & how is it caused?

Employee burnout occurs when an employee gets a mixture of feeling dissatisfaction and extreme exhaustion within their job, both on the emotional and physical end of the spectrum. It’s a phenomenon that plagues many organizations, some without even realizing it, and it needs to both be understood and fixed, due to the negative impacts it can have on the company overall (higher rates of turnover, wasted resources & less productivity).

The causes of employee burnout can include a lot of different components from both the employer’s end and the employee’s.

It’s important to manage expectations from your colleagues and boss. If a manager is giving someone a heavy workload or they aren’t properly communicating their expectations to the individual within their role, this can cause someone to burnout. Lack of recognition and micromanagement can also add to the mental stress.

Making time to pursue areas of interest outside of work and working towards maintaining a work-life balance can help manage your well-being.

6 Signs of Burnout

Now you’re probably asking, “Well, how can I tell if my staff’s burning out?” There’s no instant fix but it can all start with a conversation with your team.

With that in mind, here’s a short list of things to look out for:

  • Increase in number of mistakes and errors
  • Change in attitude
  • Unenthusiastic about their work or projects assigned
  • Not open to feedback
  • A rise of absenteeism or sick leave
  • Taking on too much without asking for help

Just remember, there isn’t a one size fits all, so everyone will show different signs. Though the list is very general, the main thing to remember is to pay attention; you’ll know your staff/team better and can tell when something feels off with their behaviour.

Tips to improve Employee Engagement

Here are some possible tips to help your organization get started on helping employee burnout:

  1. Communication– be transparent about everything (job expectations, hours etc.)
  2. Delegate where possible – letting them know that they can always ask for help
  3. Stop working through lunch/vacation/time off – learning to take breaks and enjoy them can go a long way
  4. Promote mindfulness and wellbeing in the workplace – whether through free meditation/yoga classes or scheduling breaks in between work
  5. Make asking for help the norm
  6. Recognize achievements – even the small ones
  7. Review your compensation packages – if they’re working hard but not being adequately compensated, it will impact their overall outlook of the job

According to Aegis Business Solution’s Assistant Manager- Human Resources, Adrian Parbhoo, “Leadership and company culture has a pivotal role to play in burnout.” He goes on to indicate that companies need to take a more hands-on approach, be more compassionate and openly talk about burnout with their employees.

The main takeaway from all of this is that employee burnout is not only an employee’s problem, it’s yours too. As business owners and managers, your first step to fix it is acknowledging it exists, and the second is taking action.

If you would like to arrange a consultation on improving employee engagement, contact our HR team at info@aegistt.com