What happens when your body piques on stress?
It often prepares itself to react and take action against anything that causes danger.
But is that the only way how stress can induce insecurity in you?
There are several work-related stresses which can equally contribute to a person’s mental fatigue and anxiousness. It can make them feel demotivated and even make them feel that they are useless.
We often ponder why does it happen? In all honesty, there’s a scientific process behind it.
When you are mentally stressed, your adrenal glands produce three types of hormones.
When cortisol spikes, your blood sugar levels get high. As a result, your body is supplied with an endless amount of energy. Apparently, your body doesn’t know how to adjust itself to that energy and as a result, you become anxious or worried. While adrenaline and noradrenaline contribute to quick actions. It’s why most people make the wrong decisions when they succumb to a number of stresses.
Commonly, when a person feels all of these three hormones piquing, they go into what we call as the “fight or flight” reaction. As a result, you either escape the situation or make your body overwork.
It’s how most employees feel a bad burnout because, for them, the flight is not an option.
Organizations expect employees to perform more than what they are capable to deliver. In the wake of doing so, they often burden them with the strenuous amount of work which results in stresses.
What is Workload Burnout?
They say adventures are dangerous, I say try routine… they are more lethal.
According to Mayo Clinic, burnout is defined as:
“a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
The definition of burnout in itself is pretty self-explanatory. Burnout can be a loss of interest in work. It can have some serious detrimental effect on your productivity, you may find reasons to procrastinate.
What’s even worse? You will find it very difficult to work with your coworkers.
Employee burnouts can usually be mistaken as a lack of dedication or laziness. But that’s not the actual truth. Last year, employee burnouts have been classified as a proper mental health disorder. Psychologists in the United States and other parts of the world have termed it as the same as anxiety. In worst-case scenarios, employee burnouts can further lead to serious mental health conditions such as depression. In recent events an article which went super-viral on the millennial burnouts explained:
“That’s one of the most ineffable and frustrating expressions of burnout: It takes things that should be enjoyable and flattens them into a list of tasks, intermingled with other obligations that should either be easily or dutifully completed.”
Where Does the Burnout Stems?
Commonly, the burnout in the human mind stems when employees who are the top achievers suffer from mental exhaustion. And when the best of any organization’s feel burnout, they struggle to deliver results that the organizations expect them to deliver. Usually, it happens because of the top employees over-performing and achieving big. This quick achievement in succession, their performance encourages employers to assign more work to these individuals. The employers usually offer them better monetary returns and people usually fall into that burnout trap cycle forever.
How to Recognize Employee Burnout?
Take, for example, you have one of the best working employees on your team. His name is Adam and he always succeeds in delivering his assignments before time. As the organization grows you are getting more clients and quality is a priority. It’s what getting you more clients in the first place. So here’s what you do, you bring start assigning more tasks to Adam and you see that his performance starts to slow down. Even though Adam is given everything to achieve big and is even investing more hours, his performance started dwindling. Now, tasks that only used to take a couple of hours to complete started taking an entire day. You can also see that Adam looks tired and is consuming more coffee every day. It looks like he doesn’t do tasks with motivation but he’s just trying to get by his shift.
Apparently one day, you come to the office and see Adam’s resignation letter on the table.
Your best employee just resigned from his position and now he’s walking out the door.
As a leader, you are only left wondering why didn’t Adam say anything? Well, sometimes asking for space and time is less important than critically thinking and delivering the quality work expected. It is the duty and responsibility of a leader to see when one of his best employees is experiencing burnout.
Identifying the cause at its root always help leaders to find a commendable solution to the problem. Knowing when burnout can stem in can actually help the leader to help employees clear the air. Like in Adam’s case, when things weren’t working out, it was best that Adam was allowed to have a vacation.
What Other Things Can Contribute to Employee Burnout?
It’s not only just the thrill of delivering quality that makes an employee stressful. There are many other elements that are also involved. For example, technology makes communication easy between employees and help establish an appropriate work-life balance. But prolonged use of technology can cause mental fatigue and high frustration resulting in making the person feel hazy and unfocused.
Do you know that almost 58% of the employees don’t feel comfortable sharing it with their bosses that they have a mental health issue? It’s because only 20% believe the managers will support them.
What is the Best Way to To Prevent Employee Burnout?
Harvard research indicates that organizations where employees feel a burnout often have three things in common. These things are namely, excessive collaboration, weak time management and the idea of overloading the most capable with an increased amount of work. Organizations often fail to realize that even when businesses have a high turnover, they still lose their high-performers because of such burnouts. No doubt, working together can fuel creativity but rapid decision making does not complement it at all. Leaders expect that overburdening the most capable can churn out better results, but in theory and effect, it’s never going to happen. You have to either give them a sound mind so they can think their way through and cut down the noises around them or you have to compromise.
Plus, when laden with an increased amount of work, the most capable ones can easily feel isolated. A great way to counteract burnout is by conducting an employee emotion rating system with a scale of 1 to 10. Also, while a leader is at there, he or she can conduct a session where he or she can ask what factors are affecting their morale and whether the workload is becoming a burden on them in some way. After all, it is the leader’s responsibility to destress them and re-engage them together.
So the next time you see an employee taking some time off work, don’t take that person to be lazy. Maybe, your employee is going through burnout and does not prefer to open up to you about it. Give them time to resolve and identify the causes so you don’t lose your best ones. I hope this article was an informative read. Until next time, cheers.