Employee Burnout: The Early Warning Signs Of Burnout To Look Out For In Your Team
Did you know that nearly one out of every three people report feeling burned out "very often" or "always" at work? Employee burnout statistics show that of those people, 63% are more likely to take a sick day, 23% are more likely to visit the emergency room, and 2.6x are as likely to be actively seeking a different job.
Employee burnout costs your organization more than just morale. Prioritizing employee health and happiness can be one of the most important responsibilities of an organization for employee retention and financial growth potential. If not taken seriously, employee burnout can be incredibly costly to your organization, workplace culture, and employees' wellness. Our team here at Wholeness at Work recognizes the value of noticing early warning signs of burnout in the workplace so that you can take action and maintain employee wellness.
What Does Employee Burnout Look Like?
We've all been there at one point or another. You're trying to juggle all of the demands of life while working a full-time job (perhaps even one you don't enjoy), and it feels like mission impossible. The work-life balance is off. The pay isn't up to par with what you know you're deserving of. You have a boss you just can't seem to get along with no matter how hard you try. Ever felt like this? You are not alone in this experience!
How To Recognize Burnout In Yourself
Although many of us have experienced employee burnout firsthand, sometimes it can be a bit trickier to recognize in someone else. Here are a few noticeable symptoms that someone on your team may be experiencing employee burnout:
1 | Emotional Inconsistencies and Exhaustion.
Someone you know is beginning to exemplify intense mood swings that can make everyone around them feel as though they're walking on eggshells. This can also look like hyper-sensitivity to feedback and comments from peers, appearing to take everything much more personally than intended. The intensity of emotions this person feels may even be so extreme that it influences the mood of the entire team, and they may even cling to a fellow peer or member of the leadership team in an attempt to help regulate themselves.
2 | Extreme Overworking:
Employees experiencing burnout often clearly overwork themselves, whether or not they admit it is a problem. This can look like working more than necessary, not taking lunch breaks or taking time to rest, or having a role which involves having to be widely available or providing incessant response to recurring stimuli. Overworking to this extent often reduces the time an employee has to rest or pursue hobbies and activities they enjoy, which can drastically reduce their general sense of well-being inside and outside of the workplace.
3 | Declining Efficacy:
When someone is feeling the heat of burnout, you will notice that oftentimes their productivity and performance at work will suddenly decline. They aren't producing the same quality or quantity that they generally are able to, and they may even seem apathetic to their work.
So, You Are Feeling Burnout—Now What?
If you begin to notice any of the following early warning signs of burnout in the workplace, it is crucial for the well-being of your employee and of the company that you address the issue right away. This can be as simple as setting aside time to have a genuine and compassionate conversation with your fellow employee and ask them if they are beginning to feel burnt out at work. If the answer is yes, continue to ask thoughtful questions to show that you care and see if there are any potential options to delegate responsibility or help them to place stronger boundaries in the workplace that will encourage a healthier work-life balance. If the person in question does not admit to experiencing any feelings of burnout, but you think they may still be at risk, continue to monitor their behavior and ask how you can help them navigate the tasks they already have.
Ensuring that employee burnout signs are monitored and adequately addressed can significantly aid in the sustainability of employee retention and satisfaction, directly helping your business thrive and grow in the process. It is vital to be on the lookout for early warning signs of employee burnout both in your fellow employees and in your own life. Practicing what we preach is key. Especially those in leadership positions that are often tasked with looking out for the well-being of those around them can sometimes lose their own well-being in the process.
While you regulate and address employee burnout around you, be sure to consistently check in with yourself to ensure that your own health and happiness are prioritized as well. If you need a gentle burnout self-check, you can take our free burnout assessment or pause to reflect on these three questions that can help you prevent burnout.Curious about employee burnout in the workplace and want to learn more ways that you can free yourself and others from burnout for good? Take a look at our encompassing self-guided books to encourage workplaces and livelihoods that are healthy, happy, and thriving. Or, dive into our Enneagram X Burnout Card Deck—a resource for your daily practice or to share with your team.