Do you ever feel like every day is Groundhog Day? Like everything just continually repeats and you feel as if you’re stuck on a hamster wheel in your career? No matter how many steps you take forward, you can’t find the passion you once had. The joy that used to get you out of the bed in the morning has been pushed aside for “just five more minutes.” When we feel as though we’re not challenged enough in our careers or we’ve lost passion, we may be experiencing burnout. What if your people are experiencing this sensation? How can you recognize it, support through it and get to the other side?
Signs of Employee Burnout and How to Fix It
Employee burnout is a real problem, not just for the employee but also for the employer. Burnout leads to disinterest in work performance and potentially costly mistakes and oversights. As a business owner or company leader, you’ll want to be able to spot signs of burnout and act quickly to squash it. Today, we’ll share some of the most glaring indicators that employee burnout is setting in, along with suggestions for fixing it.
Look for Signs of Exhaustion
If an employee seems to be continuously exhausted or is always talking about being tired, there could be an underlying problem with workplace burnout. Maybe your team’s been working overtime on a project or your developers are implementing a new system that requires extra time, dedication and conflict resolution. Whatever the reason, recognize that exhaustion at work can lead to burnout. And when you encounter an especially tired employee, it might be time to step in to resolve the burnout in order to keep your valuable employees engaged.
Habitual Mistakes or Uncharacteristic Oversights
When an employee is experiencing burnout, it’s hard for them to concentrate or stay focused on routine tasks. This leads to oversights and mistakes. The occasional misstep here and there probably isn’t too much to worry about in the big picture. However, if you see more habitual errors or issues that are uncharacteristic of the employee, take notice. You can then have a conversation with your team member to discuss the issue and devise a suitable remedy.
Consistent Irritability with Coworkers
Your once happy-go-lucky sales rep is slowly becoming a short-fused and cranky team member. This transition and change in irritability can be an indication that burnout is setting in. Everyone has a gloomy day once in a while. But if you’re witnessing a personality transformation that seems more permanent that’s affecting everyone else on the team, it’s likely time to have a conversation. It could be that your employee needs something new, challenging and inspirational. Or maybe you can help uncover an underlying issue with their role that you can solve.
Cynicism and Sarcasm at Every Engagement
By routinely connecting with your team members, you’ll be able to recognize if there is a rain cloud that’s affecting every engagement. General depression or unhappiness can quickly turn into contagious cynicism among the ranks. If there is a “doom and gloom” individual in your organization, it’s time to have a conversation to find out the root source of the problem and discuss how you can reintroduce positivity or reconnect them to the team and business culture. You might uncover issues causing resentment that you can work to resolve. Or, you could determine the burnout is too far gone and it’s best to part ways.
Fixing Employee Burnout
Keep your human resources team on point with identifying potential employee burnout, too. Together, you can be more proactive about identifying and resolving problems. You can help team members redefine their goals, offer new and exciting projects for inspiration, or provide training opportunities. Sometimes a little time off is all that’s needed for a refresh. But ignoring these signs could translate to a burnout that you’ll likely struggle to overcome later. Remember, employees leave managers, so it’s up to you to foster an environment that supports your valued team members and to recognize and address the signs of burnout before they become a bigger issue.
Do you recognize some of these characteristics in any of your people? If so, what are you going to do to fix it? Reach out and let me know how I can help you support your people as they may be experiencing burnout. And, as always…