Employee burnout: How to spot it and take action

In such fast-paced and demanding workplaces, employee burnout is becoming a major issue that can impact mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Often the signs of burnout can start off small, but can signify a much larger problem.

In this blog, we’ll help you to spot them early and prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.

What is burnout?

Burnout is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a work-related stress syndrome.

There isn’t just one cause, but typical factors can be when workloads seem unmanageable, there is a feeling of lack of support, a poor work-life balance or feeling unable to take time off work due to insufficient cover. It can be brought on by highly demanding jobs, or when working conditions aren’t considered to be suitable.

What are the common signs of burnout?

Some of the most common signs of employee burnout to look out for include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Exhaustion (due to insomnia or sleep disturbances)
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Poor work quality (for instance: less productive and more mistakes being made)
  • Decreased motivation and job satisfaction
  • More cynical and detached
  • Increased conflict
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches or back pain
  • Substance abuse

Burnout will affect everyone differently and your employees are unlikely to exhibit all of these signs, so it’s important to check in with them if they are acting out of character.

What are the impacts of burnout?

If no action is taken, it can lead to staff suffering with burnout being increasingly absent from work, taking more sick days and resulting in long-term leave.

This can have a negative impact on team morale and put remaining staff under greater pressure. Which can result in high rates of staff turnover and, if left short staffed, could cause damage to your company’s reputation.

How can HR Planner help?

Make life easier

One of the causes of burnout is feeling overwhelmed, with too much to do.

With HR Planner you can help your team manage all HR obligations in one place, so there is less fielding of questions, emails and calls, letting them concentrate on other tasks.

Encourage staff to take regular leave

A big factor in preventing burnout is encouraging staff to take regular holidays, to promote a healthy work-life balance and boost wellbeing.

HR Planner makes it easy to remind staff to take regular holidays, with customisable widgets to review how much annual leave has been taken and how much is still left to use.

Save time 

HR Planner will help save your whole team time. It’s quick to request and approve holidays, as there is no need for paper holiday forms or spreadsheets to keep on top of annual leave.

There’s an easy self-service system, so employees can update their own information at the touch of a button to cut out repetitive data entry, reducing heavy workloads.

You will receive instant notifications when employees request a holiday, making it easy to manage.

Spot warning signs early

HR Planner comes with insightful reports, so you can monitor any regular absences which could highlight staff that may be suffering with burnout, so you can chat to them and take any necessary action.

Offer flexible working patterns

A great way to address a poor work life balance is to offer part-time or flexible working hours. Hybrid working or working from home is another way to get a better work-life balance.

HR Planner will ensure any changes to working patterns goes smoothly by helping get the right staffing levels to prevent any staff shortages.

Offer support to staff

HR Planner’s documentation module means you can publish resources for staff to access 24/7. With unlimited storage, you can pack your HR Planner with lots of handy self-help articles and wellbeing tips.

Employee burnout and wellbeing are intertwined. When their wellbeing is thriving, your organisation will directly benefit – fewer sick days, lower rates of turnover and improved productivity are just some of the knock-on effects.

To see for yourself how HR Planner can help, get started with a 14-day free trial. Or if you’d like more information, get in touch with our team on 01252 63 60 70 or support@hrplanner.uk.