Top Signs of Job Burnout and How to Turn it Around

Employee burnout is a problem that affects every industry and every business. When employees are overworked, exhausted, or unhappy with their job they can be stressed and experience burnout. Managers desperately want to avoid employee burnout because it can negatively impact employee performance and productivity is essential to the success of any company. Fortunately, there are ways to recognize this problem and there are solutions that can turn it around. Here are a few of the top indicators of employee burnout along with tips for addressing it.


An Increase in Absences

One of the first signs of burnout is when you notice an employee taking more sick days than usual or missing work for unknown reasons. It might be that this employee just needs some time away from the office or it could even be that the mental exhaustion has actually led to illnesses. Either way, it’s important to have a direct conversation with this employee and try to uncover what is really going on. Let them know how their absences are affecting the team but also reach out to see what you can do to alleviate their stress.



If you notice your employees looking tired at work or complaining about feeling exhausted all the time, they might be experiencing burnout. If they are feeling an overload of stress at work, it could make it difficult for them to relax after work and sleep well at night.



Another common symptom of burnout is the inability to focus and remember important things. If your typically detail-oriented and efficient employee is suddenly forgetful and making more mistakes than usual, it might be time to investigate what’s really going on.



If you suddenly notice that an employee is having a hard time getting along with coworkers, it might be a sign that they are under a lot of pressure. When people are stressed out or unhappy with their job assignments, it can put them in a bad mood. Irritability is not only a sign that your employees might be experiencing burnout but if it is not addressed it could end up offending or impacting other employees.



Be aware of cynical attitudes in the workplace as this is a telltale sign of burnout. When an employee feels overworked and underpaid, it can lead to cynicism and this can cause productivity levels to suffer greatly. If employees aren’t happy with the way they are being treated, it’s inevitable that they will share this negative attitude with others and this can cause other employees to question the actions of the company.


Employee burnout is a common issue in many companies but there are steps managers can take to prevent it. The most important thing managers can do is to communicate with their staff. They should hold regular meetings which include both one-on-one and group meetings where employees are given a chance to discuss what they are working on and any issues they might be facing. This is the perfect time to let your staff know that you are advocating for them and you are on their side. This also helps to clarify expectations and help employees set goals and know what they need to do to reach them. Managers also need to recognize and acknowledge employees for their hard work. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are less likely to experience burnout. It’s much easier to work hard for someone when you know they appreciate your efforts. It is also important for managers to find ways to motivate their employees. Perhaps they perform small gestures like providing breakfast or lunch for the group or they might even encourage stress relievers, fresh air, or a vacation day from time to time. Everyone needs a chance to recharge at some point. Finally, managers need to make sure employees are fairly compensated for their work. It might mean increasing salaries or implementing a bonus system so employees can be rewarded for their work. When managers advocate for employees, act as leaders, and provide encouragement and support, they are more likely to have a team of satisfied employees and this can help to combat employee burnout.