Burning the candle - how to recognise employee burnout and reverse it 

Employee burnout is a fairly new diagnosis and is one that applies to all professionals who are overworked, go above and beyond, and ultimately put themselves in a state that’s detrimental to their health and wellbeing. And in a new, fully remote, working world, it can be easy to fall into this trap.

So just how can employers ensure they’re supporting their people in a way that doesn’t just recognise this trait, but aims to actively reverse it? Our recent STEM series event featuring Karima Green, Global Diversity, Inclusion and Employee Engagement Lead at SThree, Micala Eller, Global Program Manager & Transformation Lead at IBM, Eric Dreshfield, Partner Marketing Manager at ActiveCampaign and Kate Perez, Co-Founder & Executive Director at Merivis looked at this topic in detail.

Step 1 – Identify burnout in your people

There are internal and external causes to burnout and people managers must ensure that they are mindful of the external sources of stress which can impact their team members. Employers should also be aware that, when working in a remote environment, many professionals can find themselves compelled to work harder than ever – this can have a negative impact on wellbeing.

Eric Dreshfield spoke about this, “There is a difficulty separating work/life balance when working from home. Companies need to advocate for mental health and how to support their people during times of stress and pressure.”

Step 2 – Communicate – talk about mental health and wellbeing

It’s critical that businesses define what productivity means to them and communicate this clearly. When establishing these standards, employers must be realistic about what is achievable for their employees to produce.

Businesses need to talk about mental health and wellbeing effectively and look to introduce initiatives that promote self-care. If businesses don’t promote their people and their needs, employees are likely to look elsewhere.

And finally, it’s also important to lead by example. If leaders are open about their own mental health and wellbeing then this can establish a strong sense of trust.

Step 3 – Ensure measures are in place to relieve burnout

Ideally, businesses should be providing a safe space to talk about topics like this openly, without any fear of being judged – this could take numerous forms, whether it’s workshops or drop in sessions, there are various channels for confidential communication.

Training is also critical – managers really need to identify nonverbal signs of burnout – particularly in a work from home setting when it may be more difficult to pick up on the signals. This all links back to effective training and truly puts the impetus on leaders to build these effective relationships.

If businesses can create a culture of inclusion and give people access to tools that promote health and wellbeing, this can have a profoundly positive impact.

You can watch our latest STEM Series video on this topic in full below!