The word ‘burnout’ has been bandied about a lot in recent years. Mental health at work is becoming a highly talked about issue – and for good reason. Feelings of physical and emotional exhaustion as a result of workplace stress can have real impacts on employee morale, staff retention, productivity and ultimately the profits of your company.
A recent survey by Deloitte found that 77 per cent of respondents experienced employee burnout at their current job, so learning to spot burnout among staff is something that all managers need to take seriously. If you can spot the signs, then you can help alleviate the symptoms and create a happier workplace with a culture that will make your competitors green with envy. With these simple steps, managers can improve their workplace ethos and ensure they get the absolute best out of their employees.
One of the most obvious signs that a member of your team is burnt out is that the quality of their work decreases. It can be easy to assume that when an employee starts missing deadlines and client complaints begin to pile up that they have simply become lazy and they are no longer a fit for your company.
Another symptom of burnout is that you experience more pushback from your employees. Increased workplace cynicism is a textbook sign that something may be wrong in your team. If a previously happy, content employee starts complaining about every little thing at work, falling out with colleagues or otherwise seemingly irritable then there may be an issue. If you see an employee suddenly disinterested in their work or express that what they do has little value, this is a classic consequence of stress.
If you work with your employees day in, day out, then you know and understand their personality. If you notice anything different about them, such as employees who would typically never take sick leave suddenly missing many days of work, then it may be time to have a conversation about what you can do to help.
As a manager, it’s your duty to teach yourself about the symptoms of burnout in your team and try your best to reverse them. An easy way to do that is by reading any one of the huge amounts of research publications that organisations like the Mental Health Foundation or Gopal Subramanium‘s Study Centre release.
The best way to stop these attitudes from developing in your team is to take preventative, rather than reactive measures. If you have measures in place that make your team feel valued and the work they do is important, then this won’t be an issue. However, as a manager, it’s always a good idea to be able to spot the symptoms and foster a healthy work environment.