When most CEOs notice that a few of their employees have become underproductive or disconnected, they tend to reach for the disciplinary books. While discipline is necessary and very effective, assessment of the situation is required as well.
If these behaviors are coming from consistently underperforming employees then discipline may be the right answer. But what if this behavior is coming from your top employees?
They could be suffering from workplace burnout.
How will you know if any of your employees are victims of burnout?
Well there are a few important signs as well as fixes for the problem listed below.
They are starting to underperform.
When sales are decreasing or projects aren’t being completed then there may be an underlying cause especially when your best talent is to blame. If a typically consistent employee suddenly becomes lax or starts to underperform, job satisfaction and feeling overworked could be the culprit.
They become unusually quiet. We all have that set few of employees that are constantly making suggestions or offering fresh ideas. During a period of burnout, you’ll notice that these employees have become unusually quiet during meetings or even around the office in general.
They start to complain and “bad days” become more frequent. Your brightest and most talented employee is usually optimistic and rarely complains. Sure, they’ve had the occasional bad day but that’s to be expected. It becomes a problem when this employee is consistently having bad days or complaints are becoming a regular occurrence. This is one of the biggest signs, and often the first, sign of burnout.
Now that you recognize the signs of burnout the next step is trying to fix it. Sadly, in most situations, employees are usually fired or they quit before anyone realizes that burnout could have been the cause.
So, what can you do?
To fix any of these issues, communication comes first. Have a sit down and give your employees a safe space to vent in without consequence. If the issue is too much work, redistribute the workload. In the case of unusual quietness, that employee may feel as thought their thoughts and ideas aren’t being heard. This can be fixed by giving them the opportunity head their own project.In any situation, it is important showcase empathy and understanding.
In your experience, how have you dealt with burnt out employees?