7 Tips to Combat Employee Burnout

Written by: Abby Rosenberger
Originally published on October 24, 2014. Last updated July 9, 2015.

employeeburnoutAs a small business owner or startup entrepreneur, you and your employees are likely to work long, hard hours to achieve your business goals. Employees at small and medium-sized may be required to wear a lot of different hats in order to ensure that the business runs efficiently. In today’s fast-paced culture, it is easy for employees to overwork themselves into apathy. In order for your business to keep running efficiently, it is vital to recognize and combat employee burnout.

Employee burnout can lead to job withdrawal, absenteeism, turnover, lower productivity, and decreased job satisfaction. This article contains seven tips on combating and preventing employee burnout.

Recognize Employee Burnout

Some common symptoms of employee burnout include the inability to focus or pay attention to the task at hand at work, disengagement, and deteriorating work performance. In addition, if your employees appear chronically tired, angry, or bitter, they may be experiencing burnout. Additional signs of employee burnout include:

  • Procrastination

  • Irritability

  • Coming in late and leaving early

  • Decreased sense of accomplishment/pride

  • Disengaging/isolation from other employees

Tips for Combating Employee Burnout

1. Be Flexible

Assign an appropriate amount of work that is challenging, not overwhelming. If you assign a deadline or goal and it becomes apparent that the goal is unrealistic, change it so that the goal is attainable. In addition, if the task is too much work for one person, assign them a partner to help achieve the goal.

2. Allow for a Work/Life Balance

Don’t overload your employees; make sure that they don’t have too many projects going on simultaneously. In addition, make sure they are keeping reasonable working hours. If your employees are working 90 hour weeks, chances are, they have too much on their plates. Allow your employees to take their vacation days, sick days, and paid time off guilt-free.

3. Don’t Micromanage Your Employees

If your employees are already overloaded and stressed out, micromanaging is not helping. Lending a helping hand is one thing; however, hovering over employees and trying to control every aspect of their project is a surefire way to lead to employee burnout.

4. Encourage Employees to Take Breaks

In addition to reducing employee burnout, taking breaks regularly increases employee productivity. Encourage your employees to get up from their desks periodically. A little fresh air can be a great stress reliever. Even just walking down the block to grab a cup of coffee turn an employee’s day around.

5. Consider Implementing a Wellness Program

Research has shown that employees who perceive their company as having a culture of health and wellness are happier, less stressed, and more likely to take control of their well-being than employees in other companies.

6. Encourage Team Building and Socialization

Socialization and feeling connected to ones coworkers and peers is a vital part of feeling connected to a company. In order to allow for team bonding to occur, allow for your employees to freely socialize during their breaks, at lunch, or after work. In order to boost morale, try organizing a get together, such as a company lunch, bike ride, or softball game.

7. Don’t Babysit

To help your employees enjoy their time at work more, give them more freedom and autonomy during the day. Let them listen to music, allow them to dress casually if your company role allows it, or give them more flexible work hours. There are other low-cost perks, such as allowing employees to telecommute that can greatly increase employee happiness.

Originally published on October 24, 2014. Last updated July 9, 2015.


Additional Resources

View All Resources