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Is Working Less the Only Way to Handle Burnout?

Is Working Less the Only Way to Handle Burnout?

At the peak of Great Resignation, around 10 million workers decided to leave their jobs. Data suggests that the majority of employees who quit could no longer deal with burnout. The truth is that employee burnout has become a serious issue and usually stems from a stressful and controlling work environment.

Burnout leads to lack of concentration, physical and mental exhaustion, and decreased productivity. Burned-out employees also get less recognition from management, which often leads to workplace conflict and awkwardness.

Since the tide of Great Resignation, companies have realized that they don’t have to compromise on workloads in order to reduce employees’ burnout at the workplace. Instead, organizations can take other measures to make the work environment more flexible, communicative, and inclusive to help employees combat or prevent burnout.

Burnout in Modern-day Work Environment

In today’s work environment, it has become integral for companies to reduce burnout to support employees and maintain high productivity standards at the same time. Besides, if companies want to retain their top talent, they have to pay close attention to their well-being. But the answer does not always lie in significantly cutting back on workloads.

HR professionals and managers believe that reducing burnout is a matter of eliminating elements that create stress and pressure in the workplace. Once managers start to collect feedback from employees regularly, it becomes easier to develop a support system that works in favor of employees.

In layman’s terms, burnout occurs when the well-being of the most productive employees is low due to workplace stressors. What’s startling about employee burnout is that it is contagious and leads to a toxic work environment. On the bright side, managers can take strategic steps to help employees prevent and overcome burnout.

Apart from work overload, other common burnout causes include ambiguity about the role, excessive pressure, lack of prompt support, disconnect, and lack of diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. In fact, when there is a broken and disjoined psychological connection between an employee and employer – it forces employees to withdraw and increases the severity of their burnout.

It is vital to note that the organizations that help employees tackle burnout and engage with their workforce witness a 40% increase in productivity and almost 80% more profitability. Not to mention, helping the workforce combat burnout makes 5 times less likely to have potential incidents. 

Let’s take a look at the best ways organizations can help employees combat and prevent burnout at the workplace:

Build Valuable Connections

When employees experience a lack of social connection and engagement in the workplace – it makes burnout symptoms worse. The best course of action for HR professionals and managers is to engage with employees and provide social support to reduce work-related stress and pressure.

Managers can create a connectivity plan for employees to influence them to participate in team-building exercises. The idea is to celebrate the workforce and bring teams on the same page. It is an effective solution to tackle and overcome burnout in the workplace.

Prioritize Authenticity

Organizations should authentically support their employees to mitigate or prevent burnout. Managers can maintain suitable work hours to show employees are respected and valued. Managers can also align the professional skills of each employee with specific responsibilities.  

The organizational focus should be to help employees tap into their biggest strengths and realize their full potential. Once employees feel organizational and managerial support, they’re bound to be highly motivated and maintain high productivity standards.

Offer Recovery Time


As a manager or business owner, you have to showcase empathy for burnout employees. And that means offering employees enough time to recover from burnout. But instead of simply adjusting the workloads – managers should set realistic expectations and create more awareness about the job performance. It is one of the most practical ways to treat employee burnout symptoms.

Community Support and Fairness


Companies have to realize and recognize that employee burnout is more than just about tiredness. Instead, it represents a gap in the value system, and managers have to find a way to align these values with burnout employees.

And part of the process is to ensure fairness in the workplace by recognizing employees for their contributions. Building positive employee morale is also an effective way to reduce and prevent burnout. Managers can also make a habit of providing regular mental and physical breaks to employees.

Help Employees Connect with their Purpose

When employees are dealing with burnout – it leaves them disconnected and purposeless. And this is where HR professionals and managers can help employee redefine their purpose and roles in the
company. In short, managers can help burnout employees understand the big picture and form a fresh perspective. And this would better prepare employees to deal with their existing burnout symptoms.

Final Thoughts

The most burned out employees usually lose sight and purpose in their work. The burden of responsibility falls on managers to recognize burnout and offer meaningful and practical solutions to help employees create a work-life balance.

On a global scale, millions of employees feel burnout and often overlook the most severe symptoms. But before employee engagement and productivity falls apart due to burnout – organizations can put in place flexible strategies to mitigate its effects in the work environment.
The hallmark objective of organizations should be to adopt a proactive approach and intervene. Managers play a vital role in helping employees combat and recover from burnout. And instead of focusing on minimal workload – organizations can introduce mindfulness strategies to help employees regain and reset focus in the workplace.

Click the image below to check out the podcast about burnout.


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