Did you know almost 23% of US full-time employees feel burned-out very often or always (Gallup) and a CNBC report shows that burnout is on the rise and is causing some major health risks, such as type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, gastrointestinal problems, coronary heart disease, and even death of the under 45s (PLoS One). But the most frustrating fact is that a lot of the employees do not realize their burnout problem until it's too late. To protect yourself and your employees from burnout, watch for the most prevalent symptoms of employee burnout.
"Learning these symptoms can help you identify and address employee burnout before it gets too serious"
Physical Symptoms of Job Burnout
1. Many burned-out employees reported having sleep problems, especially after an increase in work pressure. An observational study[link] found that insomnia and other sleep problems are significantly associated with employee burnout.
2. Sometimes excessive chronic stress causes physical problems such as headaches or stomachaches. The WHO (World Health Organization) recently decided to consider burnout as the "syndrome" linked to chronic stress at work. So, if your employees are having headaches or other physical symptoms related to chronic stress, take it seriously.
3. Shortness of breath is considered a symptom of many serious physical problems such as asthma, COPD and even lung cancer. Did you know that this can also be a symptom of chronic stress or employee burnout? If you feel short of breath after a long day, you may be burned out. Remember, experiencing shortness of breath is a serious problem. You must, therefore, contact a doctor as soon as possible.
4. Employee burnout has been linked to hypertension by many experts. It is not necessary for all people with high blood pressure to experiencing employee burnout, but you can count it as a warning sign.
5. Doctors often refer to burnout as a medical reason for gaining weight. You see, people react differently to burnout or stress, you will find a lot of people who lose weight because of that and some are gaining weight. Why? mainly because of "stress eating". "People can turn to food as a coping mechanism," says Catherine Collins, an intensive care dietitian at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. So, gaining weight could also be considered a sign of employee burnout.
Most importantly, it is common among burned-out employees to get sick more often than others. So, if you are experiencing the signs mentioned above or any other physical fatigue related to burnout, take it seriously.
Emotional signs and symptoms of employee burnout
You might see these emotional changes, which indicate that you are experiencing burnout.
Chronic anxiety is one of the prominent signs of employee burnout. Employees experiencing burnout generally faces lack of concentration and self-control. Eventually, a burned-out person suffers from anxiety. If you have problems such as worry, nervousness or persistent feelings of tension, you have chronic anxiety and you may be burned out.
Loss of motivation is a common case in employee burnout. At the beginning of burnout, you would feel hopeless. You would think that you are good for nothing, you would think "this work is impossible for me" when a task is entrusted, etc. In short, you will not feel as motivated as you used to feel.
Feeling angry for no reason is also considered a sign of burnout. In the beginning, anger can take the form of interpersonal tensions with colleagues, family or friends. Over time, the situation gets worse and you may get angry instantly for no obvious reason. People close to you are the first to identify such changes. So, if they start asking questions about your anger, you should take it seriously.
Feeling lonely in the world or detachment is usually followed by anger problem, especially when you are in the first stage of employee burnout. In many cases, this comes from anger towards others. Finally, you begin to detach yourself from others, from your work and responsibilities. For example, you may spend more time in home/detached places, isolated from your friends and family.
Behavioral or Performance Related Signs of Employee Burnout.
It is easy to detect burnout when you are the victim. Just look for the physical and emotional signs related to employee burnout as you experience them first-hand. But spotting that if your employees are experiencing it relatively hard. Because in most cases, employees don't want to share it with their superiors. So, what should you do in such cases? Look for the behavior and performance-related signs.
Lack of Productivity: Burned-out employees produce less output despite staying long at the office. So, one or some of your employees are now less productive than they used to be, try to find out the cause. There is a high chance that your employees are experiencing burnout.
They Suddenly Become Rude and Less Compassionate. As mentioned above, anger and other emotional changes indicate employee burnout. In most cases, compassion for work diminishes among burned-out employees. So, if someone becomes rude recently and shows less compassion for the task he has entrusted, then you should look for the cause. It might be employee burnout.
If someone disengages himself from responsibilities, he may be in a state of burnout. People mostly disengage themselves from the thinks they are frustrated about, which is common among employees at the onset of burnout.
Taking out frustration on others is also a key behavioral change common among the people who are experiencing employee burnout. By doing this, they become more isolated and eventually become a subject of burnout.
Are you a victim of burnout? Check to see if you have any of these physical, emotional, or behavioral issues. If so, do not ignore, try to solve the problem before it becomes too serious. If possible, talk to your supervisor, take a break or change the job if necessary. And if your employee is dealing with burnout, give them a break, try to balance work and personal life, try to make your employees more engaged, most importantly listen to them. Employee burnout is a serious thing, detrimental to both you and your business. Take it seriously.