Employee burnout and how to beat it

Job burnout is becoming a hot topic lately. People continue to work longer hours and take fewer sick days – all while apart from their colleagues. But what is burnout and how does it present itself in the workplace? 

The World Health Organisation defines burnout as ‘a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’.

So how can businesses help support people facing burnout and prevent it happening in future?

Step 1: Understand 

Firstly, you need to understand what the employee is going through. The symptoms of burnout vary wildly, but ultimately, it occurs when team members are under an extended amount of pressure and stress. Their bodies are adapting to keep up, but they have reached their limit. 

Step 2: Listen

If you’ve identified an employee who you think is experiencing burnout, listening to their pain is vital. Some people will be happy to discuss their feelings openly, whereas others will find it more difficult to share what they’re going through. Either way, listening intently to their experiences without judgement will demonstrate that you’re there for them and have their wellbeing at heart.

Step 3: Act

Now you know that one of your team is suffering from burnout, it’s time to act. That means discussing with them how you can best support their journey to recovery. Perhaps they need a reduced workload, or maybe new processes can be put in place to reduce stress overall. It’s vital that they know they can talk to you, that you’re there for them and that their wellbeing is your top priority.

Poor mental health in your workforce is as detrimental to your business as poor physical health. It’s time for SMEs to recognise that they needn’t be excluded from creating a culture of empathy with employee wellbeing at its heart. 

You don’t need to break the bank or rewrite your company culture – you just need to take advantage of the resources readily available. Doing more to support your teams’ wellbeing will boost productivity, lower staff turnover, and ensure everyone produces their best work.

For more detailed tips around employee wellbeing, download our free eGuide here