What is employee burnout? 

Everyone faces ebbs and flows in their work. Employees feel like things are moving at a break-neck pace during some periods, while others feel like there is too much time and too little work. Both scenarios can lead to employee burnout.

The need for organizations to address employee burnout has become a growing concern. In fact, according to Kronos’ study titled Employee Burnout – Are You There Yet?, 95 percent of human resource leaders say that employee burnout is sabotaging their workforce.

But what is employee burnout? According to the World Health Organization, burnout “is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” And for the first time, in 2019, the WHO declared burnout an “occupational phenomenon.” 


What are the signs of employee burnout? 

According to the WHO, employees suffering from burnout show signs of: 

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  • Reduced professional efficacy

These signs are detrimental to your organization’s culture, success, and the overall growth of your employees. Burnout crumbles your employees’ desire to learn and grow — because when your employees are struggling to get through the day, they’re not developing for the future.

Companies need to treat burnout as a general organizational challenge rather than a talent management or personal issue.


What is the impact of burnout on your employees and your organization?

According to Gallup, “employees who say they very often or always experience burnout at work are:

  • 63% more likely to take a sick day
  • Half as likely to discuss how to approach performance goals with their manager
  • 2.6x as likely to be actively seeking a different job
  • 13% less confident in their performance.”

What can you do to help your employees avoid burnout? 

Gallup found that managers are primarily responsible for the conditions most likely to cause or prevent burnout.  

Train your managers to prevent burnout

Make time regularly to hear from your team members and – even more importantly – to see them in their work. Gauge for yourself if people are on the brink of burnout. Be open with them and empathetic to where they are on the engagement spectrum.  

Communication is critical – but a plan is the key. Ensure your employees understand the vision and don’t hesitate to call a time-out if people need a breather or an audible if people need to change direction.  

Invest in your culture

Company culture is the backbone of your business. A robust and healthy company culture allows your workers to be engaged with their jobs. They focus more comfortably, and their productivity will increase. When employees are in a healthy environment, they feel appreciated, which means they take pride and ownership in their jobs.

At the heart of a strong company, culture is your employees. They need to know that they are appreciated regularly – and in different ways. Gone are the days when you could simply thank an employee for showing up for work every day and expect them to put in 110%. Today, you need to give that employee incentive. If you want them to go the extra mile, you have to go the extra mile in showing them you recognize their effort.

By doing so, you build a foundation of appreciation with your team. That foundation is where you can motivate them to work harder, focus longer, and increase their productivity.

Encourage work-life balance

Paid time off (PTO) – When employees have access to PTO whenever they need it, you create a positive atmosphere where workers take care of themselves and avoid burnout. And since you’ve provided strong incentives for performance, they’ll be eager to get back to work and maximize those benefits as well. It’s important that PTO is actually disconnecting from work emails, phone calls and text messages. Set a positive example by demonstrating this during your own time off. 

Offer wellness programs and incentives

Today’s employee wants to be appreciated and taken care of in more ways than just financial.

That’s why an employee wellness program can be a boon for your company culture. Wellness programs are dedicated to helping your team achieve balance, often both physically and mentally. The goal is to improve health and mindset and encourage them to avoid employee burnout.

Employee wellness programs are a no-brainer, and they don’t have to be complicated or expensive to implement. The last thing you want is another program to manage and administer. With Boost Engagement, you can offload that burden onto our platform designed to create employee wellness and retention programs that get results for your workers. 

If you’re looking for ways to reward your employees, boost morale, and keep them engaged, contact us for more information!

Contact us for more information