Tips for Avoiding Burnout


In 2019, the Word Health Organization named job burnout as an occupational syndrome resulting from work stressors not being adequately managed. Employees suffering from job-related burnout experience exhaustion, feel negative about their job and lose productivity. While not considered a mental health illness, unmitigated burnout can increase an employee’s risk for many illnesses including high blood pressure, headaches, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Not only does this impact employee wellness, but burnout also has a bottom-line impact as lower productivity, poor attendance, and high turnover rates reduce the ability to deliver products and services and increase costs.

Burnout is often a response to long-term stressors. While short-term stressors and pressures can invigorate a team, prolonged stressors begin to have the opposite effect. Employees begin to fatigue, concentration is compromised, and morale plummets. If left unchecked, absenteeism and turnover increase.

But employee burnout is not all about deadlines. The culture of a business or team has a big impact on burnout.

What Causes Employee Burnout?

Many factors increase the likelihood of burnout.

  • Teams and individuals who have minimal or no control over their schedule and workload are more at risk for burnout.
  • There are prolonged periods of heavy workload and unachievable targets.
  • There is a lack of clarity around job expectations.
  • There is no real-time “off the clock” preventing work-life balance.
  • There is a lack of emotional support – the glue that connects teams.
  • Success is rarely recognized, or credit is misattributed.
  • There are negative office dynamics such as gossip, micromanagement, harassment, and scapegoating.
  • There is a lack of basic civility.
  • There are non-work-related stressors including personal pressures or widespread societal challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toxic workplace dynamics undermine morale and increase burnout. Research published by the MIT Sloan School of Management revealed that key indicators of toxic workplace culture were present in the GlassDoor reviews for approximately ten percent of companies. The cultures of these companies were often defined by cronyism and cliques that made employees feel isolated. At times, managers and employees were disrespectful and even openly hostile. A “backstabbing” and “dog-eat-dog” culture where undermining employees was commonplace prevailed. Employees working in the most toxic workplace cultures with dysfunctional office dynamics are at elevated risk for burnout. Even in these extreme examples, leaders have the power to transform workplace culture and create an environment where employees are happy, energized, and productive.

Tips for Preventing Burnout

It’s important for managers to include some of the red flags that morale is slipping, and employee burnout is on the rise. You may be aware of general resentment or overhear criticism of customers. Absenteeism rates may be on the rise. Productivity may dip. You may pick up on lower employee confidence or a general lack of excitement.

Leaders who engage employees with empathy and authenticity can make a big difference in preventing burnout. Here are a few tips to enhance employee mental wellness, reduce burnout, and help your team thrive.

  • Engage with your team with integrity.
  • Spend time with your team. Keep your door open and listen to concerns.
  • Address negative office dynamics. As much as we wish they will go away on their own, they won’t. Meet one on one with employees engaging in negative office dynamics and address the behavior. Keep an open mind and invite them to share concerns directly with you.
  • Manage workload carefully. Short-term sprints are fine and can energize the team, but advocate for realistic and achievable long-range milestones.
  • Recognize team members when they go the extra mile.
  • Don’t play favorites. Share opportunities and recognition evenly amongst your team. Make sure all employees’ voices are heard.
  • Create an inclusive culture that welcomes employees from diverse backgrounds.
  • Provide employees with as much control over their jobs, schedules, and assignments as you can for your industry.
  • Respect work-life balance.
  • Share the successes and own the challenges.
  • Make improving employee engagement a priority.
  • Ensure that employees have access to supports during high-stress times by offering an Employee Assistance Program and health insurance benefits that include mental health supports.

Contact Us Today

With innovative technology, a knowledgeable staff, and personalized attention, TANDIUM Corporation is the cost-effective answer for total business support. Today’s business owners have found the solution with TANDIUM Corporation, a complete human resources service organization, offering PEO, ASO, HR consulting, and payroll services. Contact us today to learn how we can personalize our services for your business.