Burnout is one of the notorious enemies of business growth. It’s the reason employees quit and the very thing that robs you of so many potential business gains. The thing about burnout is it creeps in very silently, affecting one employee after another. It’s crucial to understand this because one, you may not be well aware that your employees are already on the brink of quitting (until they’re handing in their resignation letter) and two, when one employee does feel the need to quit, there’s a high chance that others are already contemplating about doing the same too.
It’s important to be especially sensitive to what’s happening to your employees, so that you can adjust your engagement strategies. That said, watch out for some of these signs of employee burnout:
1. They’re suddenly taking too many days off
If your employees have been frequently “sick” or attending to emergency matters, which is rarely the case before, this might be a sign that they’re avoiding work. It’s a clear sign of burnout. The common reason employees avoid work is there’s precisely too much work to be done. Stress levels are high, and while some people have the ability to face this head on, some just steer clear from it. For this reason, you need to address overwork.
Start assessing the load of each of your employees, and adjust it in such a way that there would be an equal distribution of responsibilities among your staff. You may want to consider rolling out company-granted breaks. It’s a fact that some employees just don’t know how to take a rest, and would go on for long periods without taking vacations or whatnot. This can seriously take a toll on their productivity, not to mention their health. Encourage them to take breaks. Include this in your employee incentive program, granting them travel perks when they’re able to hit their goals for a month or a quarter.
2. They’re going lax on their job performance
You notice a slump on the sales or the projects completed. You’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from clients because of missed deadlines. A decline in productivity is a sign of burnout. Now, this may also be due to overwork. In other instances, it could also be because of an often-overlooked, yet important virtue in business culture: employee appreciation.
When your workers don’t feel that their efforts or contributions are recognized, they can easily slip into poor performance mode. It’s easy to address this, though. All you need is to express your appreciation towards your employees’ hard work, and do it more frequently. Acknowledge them in front of people. Communicate your gratitude to them personally. Throw corporate events to celebrate their victories.
3. They’re not as enthusiastic about work as before
They don’t make suggestions in meetings. They don’t even ask what the agenda is. They’re in fact late in huddles. All these may suggest that they’re not as interested as they were about work as before. There’s a lot of reasons for this. Again, overwork is one.
In other instances, it may be due to a realization that they’re not growing anymore in their career and are contemplating about moving to greener pastures. Some also lose the enthusiasm because they probably had relationship problems with co-workers. In these mentioned situations, one activity can help, like team-building. Organize your event in a way that employees will be able to find again their purpose in their career and at the same time, improve rapport among the staff.
Burnout has no place in your business. Be especially conscious of what you’re employees are going through. Adjust your engagement tactics according to their needs.