Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Recognizing and Preventing Burnout: How to Have a Healthy Team

Because burnout is becoming increasingly common in the workplace, managers are now being tasked with recognizing it in their team members and with helping to correct it. In this article, we will discuss how to spot early signs of burnout, what you can do to help, and most importantly how to prevent it in the first place.


The World Health Organization has actually recognized burnout’s impact on health. WHO defined it as a syndrome that results “from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” This definition in itself tells us that teaching our team members to successfully manage their stress, and to reach out when it isn’t manageable, is the key to preventing burnout. 


Burnout is prevalent and pervasive in people’s lives. Even the most passionate employees struggle with burnout. According to a Deloitte survey, 87% of employees reported being passionate about their work, but 64% are frequently stressed. This same survey also found that:

  • Nearly 50% of respondents have quit a job because of burnout
  • 91% currently report having an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration that negatively impacts the quality of their work
  • 70% feel their employers aren’t doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout
  • 83% have personal relationships that are negatively affected by  workplace burnout 

The good news is that managers really can make a difference.


Burnout is often characterized by one or more observable signs. Here are 4 changes you could easily spot that tell you your team may be experiencing burnout:

  1. mental and physical exhaustion
  2. uncharacteristic disengagement or boredom at work
  3. reduced productivity
  4. cynicism or complaining related to one’s job

For any of these things, be it tiredness or complaining, an occasional occurrence is permissible and even expected from employees. People have bad days and hard weeks. However, if a team member is experiencing an extended period of one or more of the above symptoms, there is likely a bigger issue to address. 


This is where managers must ask questions and get to know their team. While these symptoms are all key signs of burnout, there is also a chance that the cause is not work-related. Employees could have rough situations in their personal life, like sick family members or financial stress, and those problems can affect their workplace behavior. 

When team members know they can trust and rely on management, they are more likely to be forthcoming about what is really going on. If the affected person doesn’t suggest any causes, try asking questions like “what do you have on your plate right now?” or “I noticed your productivity is down from last month. What can we, as a team, do to help you keep up with your work?”

It’s also important to understand that an employee’s negativity likely affects other employees, and it’s important to take the necessary steps to address these issues fully.


According to a Forbes article, some of the leading causes of workplace burnout are:

  • Unclear expectations
  • Poor communication
  • Being overworked and underappreciated
  • Feeling the need to be constantly connected to work
  • Working in a toxic environment
  • Lack of support from a manager and/or coworkers
  • Being micromanaged


Many of these are preventable by good leadership skills and frequent communication between management and team members. Little things managers can do include:

1. Regular 1:1 meetings: 

The first way to prevent employee burnout in the first place is to have these “dig deeper” conversations BEFORE employees are burnt out. If possible regular 1:1 meetings with a manager can lead to spotting these issues before they become problems and addressing causes of burnout before employees feel the effects of it. To understand this further we will look at the causes of burnout

2. Showing recognition and appreciation to employees that are working hard:

Recognizing or promoting people who don’t really deserve it can actually decrease overall morale, but so can not recognizing anyone. Make sure to show gratitude and public recognition for hard work that people put in or for things that go right. Share your team’s wins and they’ll want to keep winning. 

3. Complementing the things that people do right:

Privately recognize the things that people are doing well. It’s easy to criticize team members because we want to help them grow. Your team needs to know what they are doing right though, so they can keep doing it.

4. Switching up work roles and allowing people to do different kinds of tasks:

If someone is disengaged at work, it can help to give them a task they find exciting. For example, someone in a data-driven role might appreciate something more creative. A person in a senior position might appreciate having a smaller and less time-intensive client so they can take a bit more time for themselves for that week. These kinds of actions also help your younger and less experienced team members have opportunities for growth and learning. 

5. Make sure that off-hours are actually off for employees:

Be conscious of what is their time and don’t contact or email outside of working hours unless it’s imperative. Allow people to be fully away from work so they can also be fully present when they are there.

As always, feel free to contact us if questions arise. Financially Fit is devoted to helping companies like yours better serve your employees so you can build a healthy team. Don't hesitate to reach out.

Here to help, 
Your Financially Fit Team

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