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September 26, 2014

Office culture: 4 signs of employee burnout

How do you identify burnout among members of your team?

Employees who are burned out often seem more irritable than normal.

How can you tell if one of your employees is suffering from burn out?

We recently discussed on this blog how to prevent employee burnout by encouraging delegation, leading with enthusiasm and increasing employee participation in decision-making. While these are all excellent ways to proactively stop burnout before it occurs, managers may need to take further steps to help workers that are already feeling exhausted and disillusioned. So how do you identify burnout among members of your team? Look for these warning signs:

  • Attitude shifts: If a worker suddenly seems to experience a personality change or is subject to extreme variations in mood, they may be coping with burnout. While some people become quiet and withdrawn, others will become unexpectedly talkative and distractible. Look for a shift in behavior that doesn’t fit with their normal attitude.
  • Changes in break schedule: Is a team member taking unusually long or frequent breaks? Or are they suddenly failing to take any at all? Either way, feelings of overwhelm and stress could be prompting the changes.
  • Cynicism: This is a very common symptom of work fatigue, and unfortunately, it can take a serious toll on your entire company. One disillusioned employee can quickly plant the seeds of discontent in their coworkers’ minds, causing everyone to feel prematurely burned out.
  • Irritability: Feelings of powerlessness, disengagement and exhaustion can all lead to irritability among workers.

If you notice an employee displaying these or other symptoms of burnout, don’t despair! The good news is there are steps you can take to get them back on the right track, both for their own good and for the good of the company. Mastery Technologies offers a variety of inexpensive and easy-to-use online employee development training courses to help supervisors improve office culture and get the best out of their team.

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