What causes employee burnout (and how to stop it)



Employee burnout is an all too common experience that most of the world’s workers have experienced at some point during their careers.

Burnout can badly affect brand reputation, workplace satisfaction, productivity, and every other element of your business, so it’s important to reduce the odds of it happening as best you can.

However, it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if the situation feels like it’s out of your hands.

There’s no need to panic, as there are steps you can take to support your employees during what is undoubtedly a tough time for businesses in modern history.

It’s worth recognising what causes burnout in the first place. This way, you can start to make some meaningful changes to try and avoid it.

  • A lack of communication

Plenty of people feel like they’re unheard at work, like their voices don’t count and their worries don’t matter.

This can take its toll on their mental health, so it’s up to you to make sure you’re communicating effectively and that your staff feels comfortable talking to you.

If you can talk to your employees through implementing an effective internal communication strategy, you can work together to improve working conditions and engage with them one-to-one.

Everyone is unique, and supporting them requires a personalised support plan, even if that’s just a daily check-in to make sure everything is going okay.

You may want to think about working with a dependable internal communications agency to help you improve this area of your workplace, as sometimes, a little support from experts on the outside can be all the perspective you need.

  • Long hours

Excessively long hours can be extremely strenuous both physically and mentally, so you should keep a close eye on how long your employees are working for.

Longer hours don’t necessarily correlate to a greater tangible output, especially when productivity suffers.

Adopting flexible working schedules is a good solution to this, as is embracing remote working to give your employees a little more agency and freedom to take on their responsibilities in a way that best suits their situation.

  • A lack of development opportunities

A lack of opportunities, i.e., promotions and pay rises, can start to make a job feel stagnant. While it’s not always possible to increase wages, it’s important you keep your employees engaged.

A good way to do this is to offer them in-house training, enabling them to develop their professional skills while they add value to your company. It’s a win-win. It’s also necessary for keeping your workforce ahead of the ever-evolving business landscape.

  • Too many responsibilities

Jobs tend to evolve as time goes on, which can, of course, be a great part of being employed, but when staff take on too many responsibilities and their role suffers as a result, this can lead to serious burnout.

A way around this is to better define the roles that your employees are currently in. It helps to keep people from taking on work that they aren’t suited to.

Moreover, if employees find that they excel in a different role, it’s worth letting them make the transition; otherwise they may feel burnout from failing to maximise their true potential.

  • A lack of recognition

Employees that aren’t recognised may have a hard time motivating themselves. This is a leading cause of burnout and one that can be easily rectified via more input on the management side.

Make sure your employees know that you value their contribution, and you may find it easier to retain their talents over time.