The Top 6 Signs of Burnout

Given the increased awareness on mental health for the month of September, it’s important that organizational leaders maintain a regular pulse on the wellbeing of their employees. One of the most prevalent consequences of severe stress in the workplace is burnout. Burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic work-related stress, with symptoms characterized by feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.

According to the World Economic Forum, the costs associated with turnover and lower productivity seen in burnout result in a loss of $322 billion annually. Given the mental health and financial impacts of burnout, its proper identification is crucial. An infographic by Lorman highlights the top 6 signs of employee burnout.

Signs of Burnout

Prevention of Burnout

Overcoming burnout takes a bit of effort, but is completely doable. Consider the following 3 strategies when supporting your burned-out employees.

  • Prioritize self-care. No matter how busy your schedule is, encourage your employees to prioritize self-care. This includes getting adequate sleep, eating nutrient-rich foods, prioritizing daily physical activity, meditating, and more. By prioritizing self-care, their bodies will be able to replenish lost physical and emotional energy.
  • Reduce exposure to job stressors. This sounds like a given, but reducing exposure to job stressors is key to burnout recovery. How can this be done when the work ultimately needs to be completed? Encourage your employees to establish healthy boundaries between their work and non-work lives. In addition, support your employees by clarifying expectations, delegating work, and learning how to say “no” when the capacity for more does not exist.
  • Engage in personal outreach. When burned-out, employees generally disengage from others. However, overcoming burnout can occur by seeking out more engagement–particularly amongst those who can offer recovery support. You can support your employees by encouraging them to seek out connections with family, close friends, and even trusted mentors and coaches. Beyond the advice they could give, there is something therapeutic in simply opening up and talking about their experiences.


World Economic Forum