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How to Cope with Employee Burnout

Employees experiencing burnout often feel like they’ve lost control, and an employee that's sick of the workplace may experience exhaustion and even illness. If you have an employee that shows signs of being burned out, what can you do?

Whatever you do, don’t think that you can offer a quick fix, like a vacation or reduced workload. You have to spend time with your employee and come up with a long-term solution. Sit down. Listen. And then decide what to do once you determine the cause of the problem.

Here are some things you can do to try to reduce the potential for burnout in a staff member:

  • Encourage self-evaluation. Ask the person to focus on those aspects of the job that he or she enjoys the most. After all, he or she did have a reason for accepting the job in the first place. Sometimes, simply reflecting on the positive parts of the job can work wonders.

  • Consider changing responsibilities. If your employee enjoys a certain aspect of his or her job but hates another aspect, you may want to reassign the hated tasks to someone who may enjoy them or who wants more responsibility. Doing so also helps prevent boredom, a leading cause of burnout.

    Just don't let a crafty employee talk you into giving all of his or her grunt work to someone else. In any successful workplace, the fun tasks and the tedious tasks have to be evenly distributed.

  • Practice frequent, honest communication. Fear and insecurity also contribute to burnout. If you have a positive workplace environment where each employee knows what's expected her, trusts the management staff to be honest and fair, and feels that what she contributes to the job/projects/products is important, then you might find the instances where you have to deal with employee burnout to be few and far between.

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