Burnout or work exhaustion, is generally caused by workplace culture.
Burnout shows itself through lower job satisfaction, less commitment to the organization and increasing will to do “something different”
and you may also see signs of reduced self-esteem, a decline in feelings of competence and achievement and
a negative approach to colleagues and customers.
Burnout generally arise from long-term involvement that results in work overload, conflicting demands, unclear objectives,
monotonous tasks, interpersonal conflicts, not enough rewards and acknowledgment of contributions and failure to achieve clear
As can be seen, burnout is not caused by long working hours. A person may be motivated to work for countless hours but if
she/he feels more stress than support, burnout arises. Where there is burnout, there will be problem in hiring good people
and even worse is that it will spoil the retention efforts for keeping the highly motivated, skilled employees.
Some supervisors have a share in the burnout problem without even realizing it. They give more and more tasks to their
top performers as these employees proved that they could come through difficult projects. It is important to have balance
in matter of supervisors’ approach in burnout problem.
One of these strategies will help you for combating burnout:
Creating a long-term strategic staff planning for sufficient number of right people is efficient to avoid burnout.
To do this:
Determine a staffing strategy that meets department and company needs, by gathering line supervisors with HR department and upper management.
Arrange training and be sure that employees are well trained to fulfill their assignments.
Prioritize the workload especially for the departments with insufficient number of people so that you can eliminate the tasks, which do not add enough value.
Consider internal deployment of employees as it provides flexibility for the organization and new skills & experiences for the employees.
Create variety in positions, tasks and responsibilities.
You should also ask and respect your employees’ opinions before redeploying them or
varying their responsibilities. Think about the best possibilities for the employees and emphasize
professional development benefits for them. Also, redeployment should be optional and if it is
applied, contact with them periodically to exchange ideas.
Another method to prevent burnout is minimizing work exhaustion. Few ways that can be followed:
Monitor workloads periodically, especially among top performers. If you realize an employee spending so much time on travel or overly volunteering for projects, meet them regularly and make them feel they are supported. You should also consider re-scheduling their works.
Show your appreciation for their works.
Consider redesigning jobs. Tasks and responsibilities may be too much on the employees. Consider redesigning the job with the HR department.
Before anything else, be a sharp observer and listener, notice unapparent cries for help and ease the situation.
Re-recruit Your Top Talent
Do not assume that valued employees will stay with you forever and be on the alert to the marketplace that provides
a great mobility for top performers. After they leave, you may consider recruiting them again therefore identify your
top performers, remind yourself that these people are at the target of your competitors, and show them your appreciation
either informally or formally.