How to Spot Employee Burnout

How to Spot Employee Burnout

As an employer or business owner, it’s your responsibility to create a healthy and inspiring environment to exist in and work in each day. If you fail to do so, then you risk your workers being unhappy and maybe even experiencing employee burnout. You may have heard this term before but may be unsure exactly what it is and what you can do about it.

Generally speaking, this is a topic that needs to be taken more seriously. It’ll benefit you as well as your staff and you’ll achieve more over time. However, before you can make progress in this area, it’s important to dive deeper into what employee burnout is and how to spot employee burnout. We’ll also offer some tips and advice on what to do about it and the next steps you should be taking.

What is Employee Burnout?

Employee or job burnout is a particular type of work-related stress that builds up and causes someone to be in a physically or emotionally exhausted state. It may also involve a loss of personal identity and a sense of reduced accomplishment and productivity.

It can be caused by a variety of factors including how someone is managed, the workplace environment, and how employees are treated. It’s more than just someone needing a break away from work. Instead, it manifests as a chronic state of stress that brings about frustration, exhaustion, and a feeling and attitude of being defeated. It not only impacts an employee’s work life but their personal life as well. While quite common, it doesn’t develop overnight so there is time for you to identify it as an employer. However, you have to be aware of it and know the signs of employee burnout first and foremost.

Signs of Employee Burnout

There are a few common signs of employee burnout that you should have on your radar and look out for at your workplace. This will help you address and de-escalate the situation before it worsens. Some symptoms that indicate staff burnout include:

  • Increased absenteeism
  • Isolation
  • Emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion
  • Disengagement
  • Noticeable physical symptoms
  • Decreased productivity
  • Higher sensitivity to feedback

If you’re aware of the signs, then you’ll have a better chance of addressing them head-on and getting in front of the issue before it escalates.

How to Avoid Employee Burnout

As an employer, what you can do is help employees avoid burnout before it begins. You can avoid employee burnout by monitoring how many hours employees are working each week and stepping in if it becomes too much. Your employees need an opportunity to disengage and disconnect from work regularly.

Also, take notice if some employees are not taking time off from work. You should encourage and make an effort to let employees know that they should take time off from work and that it won’t be held against them. Another warning sign and way to avoid employee burnout is if you notice a dip in someone’s performance. Check-in on a staff member if they are usually a high performer that meets deadlines and suddenly they begin to show less enthusiasm and motivation and are struggling with their work tasks.

Reasons to Address Employee Burnout in the Workplace

First of all, it will be beneficial for you and the employee to do so. When employees are happy and motivated, they will miss fewer days of work, be more productive, and likely get the work done faster.

There are also serious consequences for an employee’s mental health that comes with employee burnout. It’s a risk factor for depression and substance abuse. It not only affects one person but can spread to others and your entire office environment very quickly. There are associated costs with ignoring the issue, and you may lose top talent if you choose to look the other way.

Tips & Next Steps

So, you are likely asking yourself what you can do to help or prevent employee burnout at your workplace. It all starts by being proactive about addressing employee burnout as soon as you spot it. Know the signs, be aware of them, and then get in front of the matter before it’s too late. Learn by example and encourage your workers to take time off. You and your employees should commit to setting healthy boundaries between your personal life and work life. It’s about living a healthy lifestyle and being diligent about taking time away from your job responsibilities.

Employee burnout isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a real problem that shouldn’t be ignored by employers. If you do, you risk negative consequences unfolding for you, your business, and your staff. By helping your staff reduce and manage their stress levels, you will create a happy and healthy work environment that will benefit both parties.


Stress and burnout in the workplace and burnout culture is real and needs to be taken seriously by all employers. You now have a better idea of what employee burnout is and also how to spot employee burnout.

You not only know how to identify it now but also how to avoid employee burnout and how to manage employee burnout. The good news is that with the right knowledge and approach, you can turn the situation around for the better and help your employees feel happier and healthier at work.

We want to help you succeed in this area so don’t be afraid to reach out and gather more resources and tips for spotting and addressing employee burnout. You can find greater success and ensure everyone is happy and healthy when you make this initiative a priority at your workplace. It’ll be worth your efforts, and you’ll soon notice all the benefits that arise when you properly spot and address employee burnout.

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