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24 Feb 2022

Let’s face it: we’ve all had an 'unprecedented’ couple of years. Between navigating the pandemic, adjusting to altered work arrangements, observing global political turmoil and handling everyday personal pressures – it's been a time. None of us are immune.  
And there’s an effect: Our teams are more tired and achy than usual, their anxiety has ramped up, so they've taken some extra sick days to try and wade through the brain fog. Staff turnover has increased, and productivity has taken a dive. If you’re nodding along, your team may be overwhelmed beyond the norm; they could be burnt out.  

 

 

 

 

In 2019, the WHO described burnout as an ‘occupational phenomenon’, a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” They note that the effects are threefold: 
Exhaustion and energy depletion 
Negative/cynical feelings toward work 
Reduced productivity 
 
Forbes describes the burnt-out worker as “depleted and depressed”, having endured “a state of emotional and physical exhaustion that is brought upon by long periods of constant and unrelenting stress.” 
 
Not what you want for your team, right? But burnout can sneak up on you and is more widespread now than ever. 
 
A recent Career Builder survey revealed 61% of employees are burned out in their current job, and 31% report high or extremely high levels of stress at work. Gallup reports “burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day” and are more than twice as likely to be actively seeking alternative employment. 
 
It’s not just the state of the world or employees’ personal lives making them feel this way. The same report showed the major contributors to burnout “have … more to do with how someone is managed.” Managers and the general workplace culture are largely responsible for the conditions that cause or prevent burnout.

 

 

 

 

The embrace of employee wellness and engagement as strategic imperatives is a significant paradigm shift in the business world. 
- Forbes 


Managers set the tone for their teams. If you’re spotting some burnout red flags, take action! Or better yet, implement safeguards to prevent your team from reaching a state of burnout. Below are our top tips for team care: 

 

1. Communicate tasks and goals 

It’s important to be transparent with your team about what is expected of them to minimize miscommunication and frustration. Additionally, open discussions help your workers feel supported and valued and provide space for them to express their needs. A recent Gallup study found that employees who feel supported by their manager are “70% less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis.” 

 

2. Be intentional about combatting stress 

 

Prevent stress from all angles by taking on a holistic approach. Make well-being part of your organisation’s culture, and facilitate workshops on resilience and handling stress. Many companies have taken up time-logging not only to record productivity but to prevent overworking.  

 

3. Set the environment, set the tone 

 

It also involves taking the lead not only in business projects as a manager, but in taking paid leave and setting appropriate boundaries. By doing so, you empower your workers to do the same, fostering a healthy team. Maintaining positive workplace relationships is also vital for positive workplace culture, with zero tolerance for discriminatory or toxic behaviour (eg passive aggression). 


Within the office, this involves providing comfortable working spaces with snacks available and encouraging regular breaks. 


For remote workers, it is important to provide support but, equally, to trust your employees’ autonomy. A recent study revealed that employees working from home are 47% more productive. Providing flexibility in working hours and arrangements allows workers to find a healthy work-life balance. 

 

 

 

 

A great way to monitor your team’s satisfaction and morale is to run regular Pulse Surveys. These allow your workers to provide a moment-in-time snapshot of their perceived well-being and how they’re handling their workload. 


More people leaving your company than normal? Conducting Exit Interviews may help you determine why. Vetting.com’s data-driven approach provides businesses valuable insights into employees’ experience and reasons for leaving. You can use these reports to monitor workplace morale and remedy or prevent burnout in your team.  

 

 

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