According to a study by Westfield Health, more than half (51%) of UK employees are just one month away from reaching burnout. As an organizational leader, it’s crucial to know the signs–and take action to address it. In this article, we’ll discuss how to spot burnout in the workplace and what to do about it before it becomes a bigger problem.
What is Employee Burnout?
Employee burnout is a particular type of work-related stress, involving physical and/or emotional exhaustion, reduced performance, and various other negative implications. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including an unhealthy work-life balance, lack of social support, unsupportive work culture, and/or poor self-care.
Burnout is a serious issue that can have negative consequences for both employees and organizations. For employees, it can lead to a loss of personal identity, depression, and other health issues, such as hospitalizations, diabetes, or even heart disease, according to a study by The National Institutes of Health. For employers, it can mean increased costs due to absenteeism, low morale, increased utilization of healthcare services, and high turnover rates. So it’s crucial to recognize the signs, as well as take steps to prevent burnout in the workplace.
Employee Burnout Signs
Signs of employee burnout can be difficult to spot, as they can be nearly indistinguishable from general stress or fatigue. But there are some specific indicators to look out for.
- Excessive fatigue
- Insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns
- Headaches or migraines
- Chronic muscle tension or pain
- Signs of stress-related illness, such as frequent colds or flu, autoimmune disease, or digestive problems
It may be difficult for employers to spot physical burnout symptoms in employees. But encouraging your staff to look out for them can help employees and management reduce the likelihood of bigger consequences.
- Obvious emotional exhaustion
- Decreased productivity or quality of work
- Increased absenteeism or tardiness
- Withdrawal from social interactions with coworkers
- Increased irritability or mood swings
- Low morale
If you notice these signs in your staff, it’s essential to take action and address the issue immediately. Burnout recovery can take time, which could mean even more missed work and other issues.
What to Do About Burnout in the Workplace
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Strategies to encourage employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance include:
- Offering flexible work schedules or remote work options
- Encouraging employees to take paid time off
- Setting clear boundaries between work and personal time
- Encouraging employees to pursue their passions. This might look like holding a hobby group or book club at work, or simply being supportive of employees’ personal hobbies and interests.
Provide Resources and Support
Offering resources and support to address and prevent burnout in the workplace might look like:
- Offering mental health benefits, such as counseling, mindfulness training, or access to other mental health services
- Providing training and development opportunities to help employees grow in their careers
- Providing resources for stress management and resilience building
- Offering support for employees who may be experiencing burnout, such as extra time off or reduced workload
Create a Healthy Company Culture
Another effective strategy is creating a work environment that promotes mental and physical health and well-being. You can do this by:
- Encouraging open communication and feedback between employees and management
- Encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge
- Providing healthy snacks or meals in the office
- Encouraging employee connections and social gatherings
- Offering a corporate wellness program to encourage exercise, good nutrition, mindfulness, and other healthy lifestyle habits which can reduce the incidence of burnout
Prevent Burnout in the Workplace with a Corporate Wellness Program
In today's fast-paced work environment, burnout is a growing concern for organizations everywhere. Perhaps the most effective strategy to alleviating and preventing burnout is by supporting your employees’ overall health and well-being with workplace wellness platforms like Wellics.
Corporate wellness platforms like Wellics offer a wide range of tools and resources that can help employees better manage stress and prioritize their well-being, which in turn can improve productivity, engagement, and overall job satisfaction. One of the key features of Wellics is its mental well-being educational module, which equips employees with critical stress-management skills and teaches them how to set boundaries for a healthier work-life balance.
By leveraging the power of Wellics, organizations can create a culture of well-being that supports a healthier, more engaged staff.
To learn more about how Wellics can help you prevent burnout in the workplace
- Burnout study by Westfield Health https://www.westfieldhealth.com/resources/emergency-exit
- Burnout research by InformedHealth.org https://www.informedhealth.org/what-is-burnout.html
- National Institutes of Health study on health impacts of burnout
- Gallup report on the effects of burnout on organizations https://www.gallup.com/workplace/282659/employee-burnout-perspective-paper.aspx
- National Institutes of Health study on stress and illness https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3341916/