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What are the Signs That Your Employees Are Experiencing “Burn Out”

Burnout is a state of emotional and physical exhaustion that is caused by excessive amounts of prolonged stress.

Burnout is a hazard of overwork and most often a problem experienced by high-achievers…. by those people who always seem to think they are able to do anything.  It typically occurs when feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and unable to meet constant demands.

Although high-achievers can be great assets to any business no one really thinks about the dark side resulting from the high achieving behavior.  They don’t see the dark times, the magnitude of what these people do within that same number of hours as anyone else. They don’t see the complete emotional exhaustion, the depression and the potential for burning out.

This is why it is critical for businesses to recognize the behaviors of an over-achiever, to recognize the signs of burn out and take measures to create healthier environments, which allow employees to achieve organizational and personal goals in a non-harming manner.

There is a difference between Stress and Burnout.

Burnout is the result of unrelenting, excessive stress where the person is left feeling empty, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring.  A person who is burning out don’t see any hope of positive change in their situations.

Stress basically involves “too much” work but the individual experiencing stress will likely still be able to imagine that they can still get it all under control at which time, things will get better.  If not monitored, stress can definitely be a precursor to burnout, if the stress becomes prolonged.

What are the Signs of Burnout?

Employers should be watching for signs of burn – out which could be different for each employee but the typical signs of burn out are:

  • Is there a noticeable loss of usual motivation, ideals and hopes?
  • Is the employee’s focus less than before?
  • Does the employee appears excessively exhausted?
  • Does the employee have a huge workload?
  • Is the employee becoming cynical or critical about things that used to fuel them?
  • Is the employee becoming easily irritated and impatient with everyone?

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