Employee Burnout: Signs & Tips to Prevent It

Did you know that 77% of professionals have experienced burnout at their current job? Poor mental health can negatively affect an employee’s performance, engagement with coworkers, and their physical capability and daily functioning on the job. Recognizing the signs of employee burnout will allow an employer to address and prevent burnout. Let’s take a look at the signs of employee burnout and how to prevent it from happening.

5 Signs of Employee Burnout

1. Exhaustion. A feeling of fatigue that carries on from day to day may mean sleep patterns are disrupted. If an employee is sleeping on the job this could be a sign that they are physically or emotionally exhausted. An employee may experience headaches, body aches, or they may take more breaks. Watch for worn out expressions or frequent illness.

2. Impatient or irritable with co-workers/clients. Irritability or a negative attitude towards co-workers, customers or new tasks can be an indication of burnout in an employee. If your easy-going employee has become unfriendly, you may want to meet with that employee to explore what issues may be affecting them personally or professionally.

3. Higher Sensitivity. If an employee who has been open to constructive criticism in the past is now combative when confronted about their performance, this employee could be experiencing burnout. Watch for signs of the employee becoming emotional and pushing back when feedback is provided to them. 

4. Increased Absences. An employee who has an uptick of absences may be experiencing burnout. This employee may find it hard to get out of bed or may be ill due to high stress affecting the body. Either way, a manager should check-in with the employee to provide support and tools to combat burnout.

Read, ‘The Complete Guide to Managing Stress at Work.

5. Increased mistakes or accidents. Detail oriented employees who are experiencing burnout may start making mistakes on projects. They could also be more susceptible to having any accident if they are not concentrating or focused on the

How to Prevent Employee Burnout

Create a positive  and open workplace environment. Employees who feel that their manager has empathy, transparency and the willingness to listen will be more likely to come forward when they start to feel burnt out.  

Below are three tips to preventing employee burnout at your company:

Tip 1. Equip those in charge to understand employee workload.

An unreasonable workload is a major factor in causing employee burnout. Managers who are in the know of what each employee has on their plate can prioritize projects to employees who have room to take on additional projects. Weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with employees will help managers remain up-to-date on what each employee is working on.

Tip 2. Consider employees’ mental health and wellbeing.

Good companies value and support their employees and encourage a work-life balance. Make sure employees have the opportunity to take breaks throughout the day. It is important for each employee to have a quality (over quantity) break to renew their energy. If feasible, flexible scheduling can also offer work-life balance. Lastly, employers can implement a “no meeting” policy which blocks off an employee’s lunch break or the end of the day so the employee has time for themself and to complete tasks without meeting interruptions. For example, Society Insurance has discouraged employees from scheduling meetings between noon and 1:00 p.m. This allows time for employees to eat lunch, take a break, exercise, catch up on emails, or get outside.

Tip 3. Provide tools to manage stress

Implement productivity and time management skills. This can include bringing in a speaker for a ‘lunch and learn.’ Have employees complete a review of their work time and tasks or a stress assessment. Look for areas of opportunity that an employee can improve upon to reduce stress.

Society Insurance is Here to Protect Your Business

Create a positive workplace environment to prevent employee burnout and be aware of the signs of burnout. It’s important to stay in front of employees who are showing signs of burnout to help them overcome obstacles and work through the challenges. 

Read our HR blog series for additional tips on how to prevent employee burnout, increase employee motivation, and more. Or contact a local Society agent today for more information on insurance coverage options that could suit your needs.

Additional Reading:


We strive to ensure each new hire will make a contribution to help keep Society moving forward. Beyond the necessary skills required for the job, we look to hire those with additional attributes to create a cohesive environment within our company. Join us and maximize your potential here at Society Insurance by applying at societyinsurance.com.

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