5 Practical Tips to Deal With Employee Burnout as a Manager or Business Owner

by Degreat Michael

Employee burnout is a pressing issue affecting both individuals and organizations. If you feel exhausted and stressed out after working for several hours, you are probably experiencing burnout. 

Burnout has significant impacts on employees which ranges from decreased productivity and increased absenteeism, to lower turnover rates. Therefore, to address the issue of employee burnout, managers and business owners need to play an important role. 

First, they should create a positive work environment to help employees balance work and life. They should also encourage open communication. 

According to a study published in the Guardian, 64% of Nigerian employees experience burnout and severe mental health issues as a result. The good news?

In this guide, we’ll be suggesting some practical tips to help managers and business owners deal with employee burnout.

3 Common Signs of Employee Burnout 

As said earlier, employee burnout occurs when workers work too much and feel tired. It happens in different work setups and can make employees feel exhausted both physically and emotionally. This is why managers and business owners need to learn how to spot the signs of burnout. 

That way, they can handle employee burnout and stop the damages that can arise from it. Common signs of employee burnout include:

  1. Decreased productivity 

One of the primary indicators of employee burnout is decreased productivity. Burnout makes workers feel tired and unmotivated, making it hard to do their tasks well. In other words, employees might have trouble finishing tasks on time when they experience burnout. 

Also, they are most likely going to do bad work or may become less excited about their jobs. This in turn causes a drop in productivity which not only makes the whole team work less effective but also hurts the whole company. 

Read also: A Guide to Employee Engagement Strategies for Your Business

  1. Increased absenteeism

Increased absenteeism is another common sign of employee burnout. When employees feel exhausted, they may resort to taking more sick leaves or requesting some time off. In a situation where workers are often absent from work, an organisation’s activities can become a mess.

Consequently, this makes it harder for the rest of the team to carry out more tasks efficiently. Thus, managers need to monitor employees who’re not showing up regularly. 

This will help them understand if an employee is experiencing burnout and needs help. That way, managers can effectively deal with employee burnout.

  1. Emotional exhaustion

Emotional exhaustion is a hallmark symptom of burnout. Workers experiencing burnout always feel drained, emotionally depleted, and detached from their work. As a result, they may display signs of irritability, cynicism, and a general sense of hopelessness.

As an employee, you might have a lot of mood swings due to burnout. You might even start having more arguments with your co-workers or boss. Also, you might not care as much about the things you need to do at your workplace. 

Thus, managers must understand that these emotional changes don’t only make a worker feel bad. They can also make the whole work environment terrible. This knowledge arms managers with several strategies to deal with employee burnout. 

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Why Should Managers Proactively Identify Employee Burnout?

It’s important to identify employee burnout early before the situation gets worse. If you ignore or don’t take workers’ burnout seriously as a manager, your employees might start doing their jobs below expectation. Beyond that, they will feel less happy about their jobs and may eventually leave their jobs.

Managers who identify signs of worker burnout early can reduce the stress of dealing with it. Thus, managers and business owners should ensure their employees are doing well by creating a positive work environment. A work environment that allows open communication makes staff talk about their problems without feeling uneasy. 

Read also: How to Take Care of Employees for Maximum Productivity

Manifestations of Employee Burnout in Different Work Environments

Burnout in the workplace is real and affects employees both mentally, and physically.

As said earlier, different work environments can witness unique manifestations of burnout. However, managers and business owners can deal better with employee burnout when they know how burnout manifests. 

Below are different work environments where workers’ burnout manifests: 

  1. Healthcare industry

According to a book titled “Identifying Occupational Stress and Coping Strategies,” about 27-87.4% of employees in the healthcare sector get easily stressed out. This is because they work long hours and have inconvenient shifts. Workers in the health sector also feel overwhelmed and have a hard time caring for others. 

  1. Creative fields

In creative fields like marketing, burnout can happen when staff always have to think of new ideas at a fast pace. The pressure to continually produce original work can make employees experience creative blocks. Sadly, it doesn’t end here. Workers’ burnout can result in feelings of inadequacy and a loss of passion for the craft.

  1. Traditional office settings

In regular offices, employee burnout happens when people have too much work, bosses expect too much, and not enough time for fun. As a result, workers end up working a lot, giving up their free time, and finding it hard to relax. This makes them feel stressed all the time and burned out.

5 Practical Tips to Deal with Employee Burnout as a Manager or Business Owner

Managers can successfully deal with employee burnout despite its impacts on workers and the overall productivity of an organization. Below are some practical ways to do that:

  1. Create a supportive work culture

An American politician and television personality, Nina Turner, once said, “The better a work environment is, the better it is for the employer – not just the employee.” Thus, managers must create a supportive work culture to deal with employee burnout effectively. 

Beyond a doubt, an encouraging work environment is a great way to deal with employee burnout. It helps workers feel covered. But for that to happen, clear communication is essential, as it ensures that employees are heard and expectations are understood.

Also, open-door policies foster trust and encourage employees to seek support when necessary. These policies help employees and employers work together as a team, encouraging cooperation between them. That way, workers feel like they belong and are cared for.

Let’s take, for instance, you’re the manager at XYZ Company and you’d like to manage your worker’s burnout. Here’s what you can do.

First of all, create a supportive work culture by making employees happy and not too stressed out. You can do this by having frequent meetings where the team can talk openly and give feedback. You can also let employees have flexible work schedules to establish a work-life balance. 

Moreover, you can plan fun activities and parties to help employees feel like they’re part of a team. All these can make employees feel supported and motivated. This in turn can make them love their jobs more and don’t get easily burned out.

Read also: How to Conduct a Performance Review for Employees in Your Business

  1. Encourage work-life balance

Managers must ensure their employees have a good balance between work and personal life to prevent burnout. When workers are always working and forgetting about their personal lives, they can get tired and lose interest in their jobs.

To this end, managers can let employees have flexible schedules and work from home. This way, they can handle their work and stay in touch with their personal lives. That said, managers can also encourage breaks and vacations so that employees can rest and avoid burnout.

Additionally, managers can support hobbies, wellness programs, stress management practices and ways to help maintain work-life balance. This way, they can encourage employees to do things they love outside of work, like playing sports or doing art. They can also provide resources for stress relief, like yoga or meditation.

Here’s a good example of how a work-life balance can help deal with employee burnout.

Imagine you’re the manager at ABC Corporation, and you started noticing burnout in your employees. To deal with this, you can begin an excellent wellness program. During lunchtime, you can add yoga classes where employees can join and stretch their bodies. 

Additionally, you can give everyone access to a special app that helps them meditate. In short, take a step further to organize fun activities that promote hobbies and let employees have flexible schedules. 

If you work hard to enforce a balance between work and life in your company, you’ll notice amazing changes. Your employees will be less stressed, work better, and have a better work-life balance.

So when managers pay attention to work-life balance, they make their employees feel happy and highly motivated. This can in turn make the company successful.

  1. Providing resources and support

One of Peter Drucker’s management quotes says, “A manager sets objectives, organizes, motivates, and communicates, sets yardsticks, and measures to develop people.” That’s to tell you that managers should provide workers with resources to deal with employee burnout. 

In other words, they should give employees what they need to prevent and handle burnout. These might include tools, chances to learn, and guidance. When employees have the opportunity to improve their skills and get training, they feel more motivated. On top of that, they become interested in their jobs. 

Also, as a manager, you can set up employee assistance programs (EAPs) and counselling services. It shows you care about employees’ well-being. No doubt, programs like this offer employees private help for problems at home or work. They ensure employees have the necessary assistance to get through tough times and handle stress effectively.

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  1. Empowering employee autonomy

Many managers are confirmed micromanagers. As a manager who wants to help your staff deal with employee burnout, you must give them enough resources and support. This is a wise strategy to ensure they feel better and keep doing their best at work. 

It doesn’t stop there. You also need to empower employees and grant them a sense of control over their work. Without a doubt, this has significant benefits. 

When employees feel like they have power and control, they feel happier with their jobs and want to work harder. Also, this helps them get more things done and feel better. One effective approach is delegating tasks to employees based on their strengths and interests. 

Oftentimes, appropriate delegation makes employees feel more independent and in charge. This not only lightens a manager’s workload but also allows employees to contribute their unique talents.

That said, managers in companies can learn from tech giants like Google. Google inspired its employees by letting them spend 20% of their work time on personal projects and ideas. This approach led to innovations like Gmail and Google Maps. Employee morale and job satisfaction also experienced a boost.

  1. Practice recognition and appreciation

Managers can effectively help burned-out employees by practising recognition and appreciation. When managers recognize and appreciate the input of employees, it makes the workplace happier. It also boosts their spirits and reduces burnout. 

Praise, rewards, and incentives play a vital role in this process. When bosses say nice things and give awards to employees, it shows that their hard work is valued. It also makes them feel like they have a reason to be a part of the team.

Moreover, when managers give rewards like bonuses, promotions, or extra time off, it shows they value employees’ hard work. This kind of encouragement helps employees stay motivated, do well in their jobs, and feel less stressed.

That said, to execute employee recognition programs and foster a culture of gratitude, managers need to do these:

  • Establish clear criteria for recognition and ensure fairness and transparency.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer recognition and empower employees to appreciate each other’s contributions.
  • Provide regular and specific feedback, highlighting individual achievements.
  • Find different ways to appreciate employees such as planning parties, or giving special gifts.
  • Ensure that recognition is meaningful and aligned with employees’ values and preferences.

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At this point, it’s evident that this guide has shared valuable tips for managers and business owners to deal with employee burnout. Now, you’ve learned why it’s important for business owners to manage employee burnout to ensure their organization’s success.

Managers and business owners can make the workplace better by using the tips we talked about. They should ensure that workers have a good balance between their job and personal life. This will make employees healthier, happier, and more productive.

Article Edited by Priscilla Ajayi.

About Author

Avatar of Degreat Michael
Degreat Michael
Degreat is an expert SEO content writer, self-published author and founder of Greatcrackers.com. With over 5 years of experience in a variety of content writing, he helps struggling small business owners create result-driven web copies that sell their brand stories.

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