It has been said that companies are only as good as their weakest employee. This truism makes sense because a malfunctioning employee minimizes productivity and in the worst case commits costly and damaging mistakes. Unfortunately, making sure your team is free of weak links can be a major challenge, as previously great staff members can sometimes burn and not be able to compare.
While an employee who suffers from burnout could harm your organization, the good news is that burnout can be easy to spot if you know what to look for. To recognize it, pay attention to these key signs.
1. Disinterest and disengagement
If a very efficient employee who offered suggestions and asked questions suddenly remained silent, this is a good indicator that something is wrong. Burning employees lose interest in what they are doing and stop looking for new opportunities to contribute.
When you notice that a staff member is no longer conveying to share opinions, it's time for quiet words. Inquire if there is anything going on or if overwork is causing greater reticence. If so, it may be time to look at lightening the workload, suggesting a vacation or shifting employee responsibilities.
2. More mistakes made
When someone who turned into a perfect job suddenly made stupid mistakes, something obviously went wrong. Mistakes must be addressed, and it is important to find out if their burnout is causing the problem or if the staff member has simply become inattentive.
Plan the time to discuss mistakes and make a plan to ensure that there will be no future mistakes. Invite the employee to talk about whether he feels overworked or unappreciated or if there is something else.
3. An increase in absenteeism
A previously trustworthy employee who starts late or missing work may feel overwhelmed and in need of a break. Lost working days can seriously damage productivity, so it is imperative to go straight to the bottom of the question.
Find out if family problems, illnesses or excessive work are causing absenteeism and making changes accordingly. This could mean offering flexible hours to better balance work and family life, or shift employees' responsibilities so that work is more manageable.
4. Oversensitivity to criticism
Employees must be able to receive suggestions and implement constructive criticism. If a worker who responded well to feedback suddenly dissolved into tears or flew away from the handle when suggestions were made, the employee probably reached the breaking point due to stress and burnout.
When criticisms are received badly, talk to the employee to find out why. Asking for the blank if you think the current workload is too much to handle may be the best way to get to the end of the situation.
5. Cynicism and skepticism
Have you noticed an employee who begins to consider negatively what is possible when it comes to setting goals or achieving company goals? A sudden shift towards pessimism could suggest that workers have begun to feel disillusioned because their efforts are not producing desired results.
This type of burnout could mean that you have to adjust your expectations to make sure you make reasonable requests to staff members. Pay attention if employees work too long to achieve goals or if people generally have difficulty meeting your expectations.
Employee burnout can be prevented before it becomes a problem
Identifying and reacting to burnout is important to avoid problems, but it is better to prevent burnout in the first place. Make sure you have enough staff, that your requests are reasonable and that your employees have the tools to do their jobs efficiently. Preventing burnout can reduce turnover, keep morale high and save you from dealing with a difficult situation when an esteemed employee becomes unable to do his job according to your standards.
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