Is Your Staff Burnt Out? How to Tell, and What to Do If They Are

Posted on 24th Oct, 2019 by Bonnie

Burnout is an issue for entrepreneurs working around the clock and doctors trudging through long, demanding shifts, but you may not consider the serious effects it can have on your own staff. With a workday that doesn’t end and an always-reachable mentality, job burnout is pervasive in many occupations. According to a recent study of 7,500 full-time employees, burnout affected 23% of workers on the job ranging from “very often or always.”1

It’s such an epidemic that occupational burnout is an officially recognized medical diagnosis by the World Health Organization. Burnout has many causes, including balancing personal responsibilities with too many or unmanageable job duties, a lack of control and boredom. While you certainly can’t control your employees’ lives, you can do your part to mitigate or avoid work-related issues related to burnout. Although stress manifests in various ways for different people, the World Health Organization identified three general signs of occupational burnout you can look for at the workplace.


Signs of Workplace Burnout

1. Exhaustion and Energy Depletion

Everyone has a rough night of sleep from time to time, but pervasive exhaustion/low energy and lack of enthusiasm in combination with other factors may be an indication that an employee is over-stressed or nearing burnout.

Repeated Late Days


2. Negative or Cynical Feelings About One’s Job and/or Increased Mental Distance From the Position

Feelings of hopelessness and apathy relating to one’s work are common among people with occupational burnout.

Irritability and Low Morale

High Turnover Rate


3. Lower Efficacy

Reduced output can have many causes, but if a once-reliable and proven worker shows a pattern of lower-quality work, you may want to examine causes and find ways to improve the situation.

Increased Sick Days

Lack of Attention to Detail


How to Prevent Workplace Burnout

Reduce Overtime

Get Honest Opinions

Provide Ample Resources and Training

Foster a Sense of Belonging

Reward Good Work


No matter what steps you take to prevent work burnout for your staff, make sure you offer the same opportunities to everyone. Offering special privileges or benefits to some employees may exacerbate burnout and its negative effects.



1Wigert, B., & Agrawal, S. (August 21, 2019). Employee burnout, part 1: The 5 main causes. Retrieved October 9, 2019, from

About Bonnie

Bonnie is a Chicago transplant who's committed to seeing the world on a dime. As an avid news junkie with an affinity for finance, she loves to help others do more with less.