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5 Tips Avoiding Talent Burnout

29 March 2022

Pretty much every employer is aware that “burnout” among your staff is bad news. Prolonged periods of stress have proven to lead to exhaustion, job cynicism and feelings of inadequacy. It’s not difficult to guess what that does for productivity and staff morale. But how can employers identify the symptoms of burnout, and what can be done to prevent it or treat it if it does happen?

Recognising burnout

There are multiple symptoms of burnout – either all or a combination of these could be observable in a burnt-out individual. These are:

- Lack of enthusiasm. A previously enthusiastic member of your team is unable to get excited about work anymore and likely dreads going to work. 

- Poor work effort. The quality of delivered work takes a turn for the worse as the burnt-out staff does not put in much effort.   

- Lack of results. An individual who was previously quite good about meeting deadlines and milestones starts to fall behind in his work. Errors become more frequent. 

- Exhaustion. Burnt-out talents are constantly fighting exhaustion and fatigue. They could have real difficulties getting out of bed each morning. 

- Physical symptoms. So often a person’s emotional state is reflected in their physical well-being. People facing burnout often suffer from ailments including headaches, chest pains, shortness of breath, muscle aches and insomnia.

A Hong Kong study found that over half of medical graduates had encountered work-related burnout following their shift into the workplace. 

Treating a burnout 

Burnout can be incredibly common – particularly in high-pressure jobs. A Hong Kong study found that over half of medical graduates had encountered work-related burnout following their shift into the workplace. 

If you do encounter burnout in your organisation there are steps you can take to alleviate the pressure. Changing the workload of a burnt-out member of staff is an obvious one. Tapping into a support network of colleagues, friends or well-being professionals can also be a great help – even just to acknowledge the problem. Lastly, companies should really consider implementing a training programme so that managers and workers can recognise the symptoms before burnout starts having serious consequences.

Prevention is the best remedy

Ultimately, prevention is the best way to avoid burnout impacting your workplace. Many of the remedies are down to individuals themselves, such as increasing exercise, improving their diet and practicing good sleeping habits. But there are things that organisations can do to promote healthy work-life habits. What about subsidizing gym memberships or making mindfulness courses available to staff? Lastly, managers should regularly review the workloads of their team so changes are made before it is too late.

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