How to prevent burnout

How to prevent burnout


One of the biggest drags on organisational performance and employee morale is the feeling that people are being worked too hard for too many hours. When this feeling becomes pervasive, you will no doubt get more reports of burnout and see an increased risk of turnover.

To combat these unwanted outcomes, you may need to do more to support your employees’ mental health and help them manage workplace stress more effectively. How do you do that? There are plenty of great options to put into effect:

1) Know what people can handle and set them up for success

Unfortunately, the majority of Australians say they experience workplace stress at least once per week, and if this becomes the norm in your organisation, burnout can easily follow. Stress is unfortunate — but it can be part of any job. Insperity stated that a great way for leaders to combat this is to make sure team members’ goals are manageable, based on data and tailored to their unique abilities as employees.

If people routinely hit their benchmarks with relative ease, it might be time to increase the workload, but if they routinely fall short, it’s time to throttle back. It doesn’t do either of you any good to have people working long hours and overextending themselves to the point that it impacts their well-being.

Burnout is a problem that can have serious effects on employee health.Burnout is a problem that can have serious effects on employee health.

2) Talk it out

Often, workers don’t speak up about dealing with stress until it’s overwhelming, and they might have been overburdened for weeks or more by the time they say anything. For that reason, it’s your job as a manager to ensure that there are always open lines of communication, and a culture in which people can feel comfortable talking about issues around stress, burnout and their workloads.

After all, as Gallup noted, preventing burnout can’t entirely be the provenance of managers. You’re not a mind reader, but with better culture around this issue, you can be a better leader.

3) Act decisively

As a manager or leader, you can’t be expected to spot every instance of workers reaching their boiling point. But you certainly have it within your power to identify when there’s a strong chance that it might happen (such as when KPIs for each employee start to dip) and react appropriately.

According to, you should always be ready to reach out to employees who seem a bit “checked out” and start a conversation about the issue. Once you have gotten to the root of the problem, you should strive to take steps to quickly rectify the situation. Something as simple as moving work off a struggling employee’s plate could help them immediately feel they are being heard, and bring them back into the fold.

4) Give them the tools they need

Part and parcel with a culture of dialogue around these issues is the need to empower your employees to identify signs of burnout and stress within themselves and their team members. They should also receive training related to stress management for themselves and how to support others, so that when this issue does arise, it can be handled properly by everyone involved.

With that in mind, when you want to prevent burnout, it can be helpful to provide training that helps boost resilience and communication in the workplace. The course on this subject offered by ICML is comprehensive and can be specifically tailored to your unique organisational needs. If you have any questions, reach out to us today to learn more.

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