Employee Burnout and Managing Stress in the Workplace

The symptoms of employee burnout can be easy to recognize. One of the most prevalent is the constant feeling of tiredness and lack of energy. Another is decreased motivation and job performance. Some people experience cynical or negative feelings towards their colleagues and superiors. This can make them feel distant towards their position, employer, and work responsibilities.

Harmful to All Parties

Employee burnout is not only dangerous for individuals; it can lead to significant workplace accidents and injuries. Some workers may be so tired that they are unaware of their surroundings and have slower response times, develop unsafe work habits, and exhibit increased agitation. Those who operate heavy machinery, drive company vehicles, or perform medical procedures are at increased risk of injuring themselves or others in the workplace.

An Occupational Crisis

The WHO (World Health Organization) has defined employee burnout as an occupational phenomenon. This condition is diagnosable and is a result of continual, unmanaged workplace stress. Although it is not classed as a medical condition, it’s recognized to influence the health of those who experience the situation.

The World Health Organization is currently creating evidence-based guidelines designed to promote mental wellness for employers and employees. There will also be resources put into place that can offer recommendations to manage stress and fatigue associated with work.

How Can Managers Help?

Burnt out employees are a serious safety concern in the workplace, but it can be challenging to recognize them in some environments. Managers need to focus on identifying the prevalent symptoms among workers and helping to intervene as much as possible. Workers that look tired, seem forgetful, aggressive, irrational, and stressed should be monitored carefully and offered time to discuss their concerns.

Employees that seem irritable, anxious, or violent may be under a lot of stress. Although, some employees that seem fatigued, dazed, and have low morale could be using alcohol or drugs. While confronting an employee directly can be difficult, group presentations offer an alternative option to provide support and training to employees that feel as though they need additional help. 

During these presentations, workers can also be instructed on how to safely report illnesses and concerns without fear of retaliation or discrimination.

For more information about the effects of employee burnout, contact us today.