OneSource Business Solutions Blog

How To Deal With & Avoid Employee Burnout

Employee burnout has reached record levels, experts say.  According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress costs U.S. companies over $300 billion annually due to accidents, absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover, workers’ compensation, direct medical, legal, and insurance costs.

Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress - a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.  If you or someone you know is possibly burned out, here are some questions to ask.


Do you have job burnout?

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you find it hard to concentrate?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?

If you’ve answered yes to several or more of the above questions, you might have burnout.  Fortunately, by identifying what is causing the added stress, oftentimes, the employee can return to being a happy, contributing, successful member of the team.

Possible causes of job burnout

  • Lack of control. An inability to influence decisions that affect your job.  I.e. your schedule, assignments, or workload.
  • Unclear job expectations. If you're unclear about the degree of authority you have or what your supervisor or others expect from you, you're not likely to feel comfortable at work.
  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. Perhaps you work with an office bully, or you feel undermined by colleagues or your boss micromanages your work. 
  • Lack of social support. If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, you might feel more stressed.
  • Work-life imbalance. If your work takes up so much of your time and effort that you don't have the energy to spend time with your family and friends.

Workplace stress is likely to be an issue for all professionals at some stage in their careers. No matter your industry or level of experience, managing stress levels is something all professionals need to practice to achieve success and happiness in and out of work. 

As a leader in your business, there are some ways to help reduce your employees’ stress.

Tips for stress to success

  • Hold walking meetings  
  • Promote work-life balance
  • Monitor workloads and scheduling
  • Encourage employees to use vacation time
  • Provide remote working options
  • Prioritize workplace wellness
  • Offer employee assistance programs
  • Establish goals and create career paths
  • Practice open communication
  • Lead by example

Developing meaningful and rich interpersonal relationships among colleagues will help people feel connected to one another and engaged in their work. Simply put, employees who know and like one another are more energized and motivated, and therefore less likely to burn out and depart from the organization. Make all employees, from the janitor to the CEO, feel they belong and are an important part of your company. 

If you need help building a bond within your company and reducing employee burnout, OneSource Business Solutions can help. We’re a local PEO company here to help other small businesses like yours.