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Is Employee Burnout Scorching Your Team? Watch for These 7 Signs

Do your employees seem less motivated and more irritated? Are they complaining about the day-to-day duties of their positions? They’re probably burned out — and likely have been for a while. Here are some other red flags they might feel that way.

Upset woman with her head in her hands while sitting at her desk

Have you measured employee morale lately? Is your team motivated and ready to take on the company’s objectives and values wholeheartedly? Or are some team members simply going through the motions?

If that second feeling sounds familiar, that’s one of the many signs of employee burnout, an ailment about 75% of employees say they experience. A separate Gallup study revealed that 23% of workers are always or often burned out at work, while 44% say they feel it sometimes.

The triggers of this burnout vary. Some folks struggle to establish a manageable work-life balance, some overload themselves with expectations, others quite simply don’t feel fulfilled in their current roles. Regardless of the cause, burnout likely has your employees feeling stressed, exhausted, and unable to bring their best selves to work each day.

As you work to construct an environment that minimizes employee burnout, keep an eye out for these seven signs your team might be feeling fried at work:

  1. Detachment From Workplace Culture: Is your work culture one of the company’s biggest selling points? Culture is the aura your company projects and the “why” for employees to connect with one another and the company both during and after work hours. When people pull back from those events, you’ll want to explore and determine whether that disengagement might be due to burnout.
  2. Waning Enthusiasm and Motivation: Engaged employees bring their best attitude and brightest ideas with them to work each day. When that enthusiasm and motivation to thrive starts dwindling, it becomes an HR problem. Regularly surveying your team to see how everyone feels about their job and the company can bring some of those issues to light.
  3. Dwindling Productivity: About 60% of people surveyed by The Hartford say their productivity drops when they don’t prioritize their health and wellness. If typical high performers start to exhibit a noticeable reduction in their output, employee burnout might be responsible.
  4. Upticks in Mistakes and Forgetfulness: When employees take on too much in the office, it’s easy for tasks and projects to slip through the cracks. Mistakes happen, but a pattern of mistakes might mean it’s time to consider whether your team is being tasked with too much.
  5. Inability to Make Decisions: Employees make big and small decisions every day. When even the tiniest choices start to feel like too much, look at how much capacity is being carried and whether there’s a way to spread out the work.
  6. Irritability and Aversion to Feedback: Are your mild-mannered employees a hair edgier than normal? Are they less receptive to criticism? If so, they might be close to burnout.
  7. Increased Absenteeism: Allotted sick and personal days are par for the course with employees. But when team members begin taking days off at higher rates than usual because they’re overworked or not taking care of their well-being, it’s time to look inward.

Employee burnout isn’t something your company can completely avoid, but it is something that can be minimized. Creating a culture that celebrates self-care can show employees that setting boundaries and realistic goals is in the best interest of their personal and professional development.

Attraction and Retention
Employee Wellness
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