How do I protect my employees against burnout?

In today’s business environment it is important that you have good employees. Employees are assigned more responsibility by their bosses, but this is always a good thing. This responsibility often puts a lot of work pressure on employees, which is not always good for their health. Here we explain how you can easily spot the first signs of burnout and how you can avoid this in your workplace.

Warnings of burnout

The signs that could lead to burnout are easy to recognize. This is often clear, especially with your best employees, because they exhibit completely different behavior than you are used to from them. Clear signals of a risk of burnout are:

  • Little enthusiasm, excitement and pleasure in work
  • Staying late at work and missing breaks like lunch
  • Being annoying to other employees all the time
  • A significant reduction in his or her job performance
  • Repeatedly arriving late for work
  • Not meeting deadlines or forgetting to complete tasks
  • Not being able to handle the workload
  • The employee is no longer enthusiastic about taking on assignments

If you notice that one of your best employees is beginning to behave in this way, it is recommended that you take immediate action.

Preventing and reversing burnout

With the following tips you can drastically reduce the risk that one of your staff members or other employees will become involved, or if an employee is already in a downward spiral, these tips will help to reverse the spiral.

  • Speak to your employees not only in groups, but also in private conversations. When you speak to an employee in a private conversation, it is easier for many to talk about their difficulties. Try not to point out the person’s mistakes too much, but offer solutions. It will help the employee a lot if you discuss with him how you can reduce the workload he experiences. Reassure the employee by telling him that he can always contact you with questions about his project.
  • Evaluate the level of your staff. If your company has had to make budget cuts, extra work often falls on the shoulders of your employees. If you notice that you have employees who are overwhelmed with work, you may want to consider hiring a temporary project staff if you can no longer afford full-time positions.
  • Analyze the work environment. If you get the impression that your employees see each other as competition, it’s time to take action. Make it clear to them that they must work as a team to achieve their goal and that the competition is not within the company, but against the competing companies.
  • Reward the performance of your employees. Don’t assume that your employees know they are appreciated. As long as your rewards are genuine, specific and regular, you can’t reward enough. Employees need appreciation for their work. This way they continue to perform well or become even more motivated to deliver excellent work

As a manager, it is your job to stay alert. When you notice warning signs of burnout, stop hesitating and take action. Burnout has a very negative effect on the performance of the employee and often on the entire team. Taking preventative measures also keeps your best employees at their best.