Employee Burnout. Recognize and Address It
Levels of stress and anxiety continue to rise in the workplace, and employee burnout becomes increasingly more common. When employees are kept in stressful work situations over extended periods of time, job burnout is a more likely outcome than many would think.
Extended exposure to stressful situations create an environment that breeds mental, physical and emotional exhaustion and has a detrimental affect on their performance, satisfaction and long-term potential.
Factors Contributing to Burnout
Some additional factors possibly contributing to employee burnout include:
•Increasing work demands and responsibilities when other workers are laid off
•Tight schedules and deadlines
•Unclear job expectations
•Feelings of lack of control over work
•Trying to make everyone happy
•Lack of sleep and/or rest
•Lack of life balance between home and work
•Monotony in daily duties
•Different in values or ethics than the employer
Signs of Employee Burnout
Recognizing the signs of employee burnout is not difficult and should be a concern for all employer and co-workers. If recognized early on, steps can be taken to help the employee address burnout before the full effects take hold.
The following are some of the more common signs of employee burnout:
•Attitude changes toward coworkers, supervisors and others in the workplace
•Not wanting to get up in the morning and go to work
•Increased absenteeism from work, arriving late or leaving early
•Working through lunch and break times
•The employee’s inability to laugh or feel happy
•Lack of motivation
•Significant decrease in productivity
•Regularly missing deadlines
•Having reduced or no energy
•Being overly critical
•Irritability with coworkers, direct and upper management, customers or clients
•Outbursts of anger
•Health problems like headaches, upset stomach, body aches and pains
•Difficulty sleeping at night
•Self-medicating, i.e., drugs, alcohol or food
How to Prevent Burnout
The entire organization and all employees are negatively affected when burnout is experienced. Employers can take several steps to reduce employee burnout. One of the most important is for managers and supervisors to keep open lines of communication with their employees.
Following are some additional steps employers can take to reduce burnout among employees:
•Establish and maintain a positive work environment coupled with good communication at all levels.
•Regularly communicate with all employees the company’s expectations of their job performance.
•Employees’ accomplishments and contributions to the company should be recognized and they should be provided with rewards and appropriate recognition.
•Create an environment where employees can have fun, interact and encourage them to socialize outside of work.
•Create a track record of integrity and honesty employees can depend on, never lie to employees.
Employers should take steps to help all employees learn and understand how to practice proven methods of dealing with workplace stress.
Examples of stress management techniques include:
•Meditation and deep breathing
•Passive muscle relaxation
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