How to Prevent Employee Burnout

Alright – I have one more thing to say about employee burnout and then we’ll put the subject away for a little while. You know the signs of burnout, what causes burnout, and how to remedy the situation.

That’s all well and good but the real question is whether or not you are capable of preventing employee burnout.

One of the best ways to prevent employee burnout is to recognize the signs and stop the employee from heading down that path before he actually reaches the state of burnout. But what does this really entail?

For starters, make sure you have clarified your employee’s job description. In some cases an employee may actually be doing too much because he feels he or she is supposed to be doing tasks that could easily be passed on to someone else. In other cases the job description that has been set forth may have been too lofty and you may need to make some changes internally in order to redistribute the workload.

In some cases burnout is caused by boredom and a lack of work. If this is the case, add additional duties to your employee’s job description. Make sure they’re challenging while remaining within that employee’s skillset. You may just be surprised to find you’ve been underutilizing someone with a special skillset you had yet to discover.

While most managers don’t want to give up good employees, it’s important to take a step back and consider whether or not it may be more beneficial to the employee in question to accept a job transfer. Perhaps a different team, department, or job function would allow him to continue working while giving him the change he needs to stop feeling burnt out. Don’t be offended if an employee does NOT want to transfer, though. This simply means he likes his job (and you) enough to find another alternative.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” You may have to offer up several solutions before finding one that helps prevent the employee in question from burning out. In some cases you may end up asking your employee to take some time off so that he can relax and regroup. It’s better to have this happen before he’s completely burnt out than to wait until he’s no longer functional or has made himself ill.

Don’t forget that the stress associated with burnout can be very serious. If none of these options work, or if you suspect there is another underlying cause, it may be best for you or your employees to seek the advice of a health care provider. Proper stress management is the key to avoiding burnout altogether.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

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