How to recognize burnout in your employees
Burnout is a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressor on the job, and is defined by the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy.
Often the first sign of burnout is a feeling of being emotionally exhausted from one’s work. When asked to describe how she or he feels, such employees suffering burnout might mention feeling drained or used up and mentally (emotionally) as well as physically fatigued.
Possible organisational causes are:
- Lack of expected rewards
- Lack of control
- Lack of clarity
- Lack of support
- Training deficit
Personal causes could be:
- Personal responsibility (pressure at family level, more dependents)
- Idealistic expectations
- Lack of skill level required in case of growing and changing organisation
- Lack of financial support for further education on the part of employee
Consequences will be:
- Getting into interpersonal friction at peer level and with superiors
- Declined performance due to lack of positive emotional stability
- Family problems lead to physical and psychological health related problems. Some employees with difficulty to cope with ambiguity in practical world may resort to alcoholic drinks to lose their health or add to health related problems.
How can we help employees suffering burnout?
- Arrange for a meeting: Arrange for a casual meeting and get to know what is currently going on in the employee’s life. So, how’s life? How is your kid? How is your project going on? Casually try to find out where the problem lies. Make sure that the employee is comfortable talking and sharing things with you.
- Work and lifestyle Balance: The burnout employee might not have time for his family, or he may not have relaxation time. Try to give some time off and explain that rest for the body and mind is equally important.
- Increase Staff Morale: Staff morale may be improved by increasing accessibility and authenticity, fostering openness, and role modelling. Accessibility and fostering openness related to the approach ability and availability in an organization’s workforce.
- Culture Survey: Organisation where employee burnout is frequently seen, should administer organisation culture or climate surveys regularly. This would give enough data, and time for the management to improve or maintain levels of morale between each survey.
- Clear Roles Defined: Give clear roles to burnout employees. There should not be any room for ambiguity for them. Give them positive feedback and wherever the performance is low give some attempts to improve.
- Provide Training: If skill gaps among st burnout employees are a cause, provide training and tools such that the employee meets the expectations. This will make employee feels confident and being supported by the management.
The real talent of the manager lies in identifying the burnout employee and help employee recovering from burnout. These are the ways manager retains employees and stand out as a leader. Retaining employees at their weak times not only motivates the employees but also helps the company on a long run.