“Burnout occurs when your internal fire is out and you have no more fuel left. It can result in a negative attitude, a lack of productivity, high stress, a lack of teamwork, and, negative transparency.” –Robert Bogue

Burnout is real in the workplace. What can employers do to help?

According to the American Psychological Association’s 2021 Work and Well-being Survey:

  • 79% experienced work-related stress in the month before the survey.
  • Nearly 60% reported negative effects of work-related stress, including a lack of interest, motivation or energy, and a lack of effort at work.
  • 44% reported physical fatigue.
  • 36% reported cognitive weariness.
  • 32% reported emotional exhaustion.

Yes, we’ve dealt with high levels of stress that created personal and professional challenges. Many of us learn to manage our priorities to prevent the physical and emotional exhaustion that leads to burnout. Techniques exist such as finding distractions, focusing on self-care, reframing perceptions, pushing back on demands, and even an occasional “self-induced attitude adjustment.” Some even turn to mental health professionals for help.

But as HR professionals and business leaders, we need to be equipped with the tools and techniques needed to help our teams prevent or recover from burnout.

How Can Employers Help?

Business leaders play a crucial role in helping workers avoid and overcome burnout, creating a positive work atmosphere and igniting engagement:

  • Recognize great work. Let your employees know when work is done well—and do not let them downplay the significance of their accomplishments.
  • Offer support. Create a culture in which seeking help is encouraged. In addition, proactively ask workers what you can do to help them perform their jobs better and avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Promote a healthy work/life balance. Life happens. Let your workers take time to deal with personal responsibilities.
  • Set realistic expectations. Place realistic expectations on what a company’s workforce can accomplish and that an increased workload may require changing deadlines for other projects.