There are many mistakes one can make when running a business: isolating business partners, failing to communicate with customers, overlooking key operational details, etc. One particularly damaging mistake is not recognizing the symptoms of burnout in employees. Burnout can have a serious impact on employee performance, leading to decreased engagement, poor concentration, and reduced motivation. For your business, this means decreased productivity, higher turnover rates, and financial losses.
Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs that can help you. Here are a few tips for recognizing burnout in your employees.
Physical Exhaustion and Emotional Outbursts
Burnout often manifests itself as physical and emotional exhaustion in the workplace. If an employee appears to be running out of steam, with low energy levels, this could be a sign of burnout. Additionally, if an employee is more prone to tears and anger, or spends more time alone than usual, these could also be signs of burnout.
For example, say you run a restaurant and your chef appears to be frequently exhausted, especially during peak hours. This could be a sign of burnout in that individual – they may not have the energy or motivation necessary to perform their duties effectively. Likewise, if your customer service representative appears to be crying often and is short with customers.
Monitor Working Hours and Deadlines
Burnout often results from having too much on one’s plate. If an employee appears to be constantly behind their deadlines or working late into the night, this could be a sign of burnout.
For example, say you have an IT team working on a major project with an upcoming deadline. If they appear to be consistently working late hours and still not meeting deadlines, this could indicate burnout in the group, as they are likely feeling overwhelmed or unable to handle the workload. Similarly, if your sales team has been working long hours but taking more time to close deals than usual, this could also be a sign of burnout.
Ask Questions and Listen
The most effective way to recognize burnout in employees is to simply ask questions and listen. It is important to create an open dialogue with your employees so that they feel comfortable discussing any issues they may be having. By engaging in dialogue and showing genuine concern for their welfare, you can get a better understanding of the situation and take appropriate steps to help.
For example, say you run an independent living facility for seniors and you notice that one of your nurses is not working as efficiently as usual. Instead of assuming incompetence, try to engage in a conversation with them to find out what is going on. Ask if they are feeling overwhelmed and offer any help or support they may need. This can go a long way.
Ultimately, burnout can have serious consequences for both employees and employers alike, so it is important to keep a close eye out for any signs of it in your workplace. By understanding the root causes and taking action accordingly, you can help ensure that your employees are able to function at their best.