Workplace Burnout Happens

workplace burnout, doctor at desk with head in hands

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burnout has three characteristics; feelings of depleted energy or exhaustion, increased mental distance from or negativity/cynicism about one’s job, and reduced professional efficiency.

What are some signs of burnout?

  • Unusually low energy or fatigue
  • Reduced performance or productivity
  • Uncharacteristic impatience or shortness with others
  • Faltering relationships with colleagues
  • Sudden micromanaging
  • Increased absenteeism

How can you show your employees that you value their mental health and want to help prevent burnout at work?

  • Encourage the use of PTO or vacation days.
  • Set clear expectations. These can help employees retain a sense of control because they understand what is expected of them.
  • Allow for downtime at work. This could be allowing employees to close their office door and work uninterrupted or allowing music to be played through headphones or in the background.
  • Show support for mental health. Implement an open-door policy for employees to come to managers or HR with issues.
  • Show appreciation or recognition. A “thank you” can go a long way to reduce stress and show employees they are appreciated.
  • Recognize that stress exists outside of work. To help staff cope with responsibilities outside of work, be accommodating.
  • Allow for rest when needed. Recognize the need and allow for an extra break or a few minutes to decompress to recenter or gain focus.
  • Bring mindfulness to work.
  • Reduce toxicity in the workplace.
  • Conduct regular employee engagement surveys.

Recognizing and avoiding burnout in the workplace is something you can do as an employer to improve an individual’s well-being as well as the health of your organization.

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