How to Identify Burnout In Your Employees


Solid mental health is the foundation to productivity. And, that’s exactly why burnout is such a problem. For those unfamiliar with burnout, burnout is a condition resulting from chronic workplace stress. The condition is characterized by feelings of energy depletion, mental distance from one’s job, and strong feelings of negativity.

When employees are miserable around the clock – how can you expect them to be productive and care about work? That’s why it’s important to identify burnout in your employees as quickly as possible. Learn these 5 common signs of burnout so you can stay in the loop when it comes to the mental state of your employees!

Burnout: What Causes This Condition

First, it’s important to explore the causes of burnout. This way, you can see if any of these causes resonates with your business model. The most common causes of burnout include:

  • Toxic work environment
  • Lack of adequate social support
  • Poor management
  • Heavy workload and long hours
  • Repeated overtime
  • Lack of a work-life balance
  • Limited job mobility
  • Feelings of no control over work

Employees Are Displaying More Cynicism

First off, what exactly is cynicism? Employees that display increased cynicism are those that believe others are purely motivated by self-interest. This leads employees to lash out at clients, be unreceptive to feedback, and generally sour the mood around the office. After all, unhappy people are hard to ignore.

Don’t Underestimate “Obvious” Audio and Visual Cues

Sometimes, the most obvious things make the biggest impact. There is nothing wrong with tense moments at work, but happy moments should be around to balance everything out. If you don’t see a single employee smiling or in a good mood, you might be in trouble. The same applies if your employees are happy and chatting, but go completely silent as soon as you show up. Burnout can be difficult to hide, so don’t underestimate cues that might seem too obvious.

Decreased Productivity and Performance

Without purpose or drive, even the most disciplined employees will be less productive. This results in performance taking a huge hit. If employees are repeatedly submitting work late or submitting work with lots of careless mistakes, this could be signs of decreased productivity and performance. If sales numbers and revenue are dropping without other obvious causes – you might want to consider burnout.

Employee Isolation

When people feel overwhelmed, they may stop confiding in co-workers and upper management. However, there is a difference between just having a bad day and feeling burnt out. If you take notice of an employee repeatedly isolating themselves – and especially if they were previously extroverted – something is wrong.

Increased Absenteeism

When people are unhappy with their jobs, any slight excuse may be used to take the day off. Some may hope a day off will help them recharge from their burnout while others just want to avoid working on difficult and unsatisfying work-related projects. Employees that come in late or leave early without mention are also warning signs to look out for.