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Recognizing & Avoiding Burnout on Work Teams

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  • 0:03 Workplace Burnout
  • 1:03 Recognizing Burnout
  • 2:07 Avoiding Burnout
  • 3:17 Turning Burnout Around
  • 4:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Something's going on with your employees, but what? It could very well be the common culprit known as burnout. In this lesson, you'll learn more about how to recognize and avoid employee burnout.

Workplace Burnout

You know the feeling: It's Sunday evening and you're prepping for the work week ahead. You're already feeling stressed and anxious about heading into the office in the morning. Monday morning comes, and you sluggishly get out of bed. By the time you get to work, you're irritable, tired, and unmotivated. You find yourself snapping at everyone who stops by your door. Your eyes stay on the clock, counting the minutes until the weekend.

What's going on here? Is it just a case of the Mondays or something more? Many of these are signs of a condition known as burnout, a troubling phenomenon that managers have to be on alert for, diagnose, and try to avoid.

Workplace burnout - job-related stress that takes its toll mentally, physically, and emotionally - may not seem like that big of a deal until you consider some of its repercussions:

  • Loss of productivity
  • More careless workplace errors
  • Poor employee morale
  • Increased absences and job turnover
  • Toxic relationships in the workplace

Managers who want to keep healthy and happy employees must be able to recognize burnout, prevent it, and find ways to turn it into something positive.

Recognizing Burnout

Before you can prevent burnout, you first must be able to recognize its symptoms. Generally, employees who are burned out in their role are more prone to behaviors like irritability, anxiety, or loss of productivity. The quality of the work they perform may slip from previously higher levels. They may miss a lot of work, disengage during meetings, fail to interact appropriately with co-workers, or develop a cynical or apathetic attitude toward the work environment.

For managers, it is critical to be able to recognize these signs. The best way to do that is by paying close attention to employees. While being quiet and avoiding social interaction with colleagues may be normal behavior for one employee, it might indicate a problem in another.

Look at how workplace changes may be impacting employees. Things like not having any control over their schedule, being overloaded with work tasks or dysfunctional workplace relationships (such as having to deal with a workplace bully) can all contribute to burnout.

Maintaining open lines of communication between you and your employees - and not just when burnout in suspected - is also a critical tool in identifying burnout. Being able to talk to employees, and ensuring they know you're there to listen, can thwart early signs of burnout.

Avoiding Burnout

So, you've recognized signs of burnout in your workplace...now what? Now comes the important part where you take a look at what you can do to reverse or eliminate it. Here are some tips:

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