4 Simple Steps to Prevent Total Burnout Among Your Employees

December 14, 2017

When you initially bring a new hire into your team, they usually start off really excited about the opportunity to do their best work for you. However, over time, employees can unfortunately start to become overworked and stressed out, which easily leads to burnout. And burnout isn’t just a bad thing for individual productivity – it is also one of the primary causes of turnover, which can be a costly problem for any company.

While you may already be focused on promoting general team productivity in your workplace, it is equally important to help each of your valued employees to avoid feeling burnt out. The first step is to remember that employees who take much-needed breaks from work may feel happier and may be more productive when they return to work. They may also be more satisfied with their jobs, which can make a huge difference in decreasing turnover.

Here are 4 more tips for preventing total burnout among your employees that you can put into action right now:

1. Create a Supportive Environment

Some employees feel guilty about taking vacation time, and they may even feel as though taking a vacation would hurt their advancement opportunities or negatively affect a potential raise in the future. As a business owner, you should actively monitor how much time each employee takes off for personal needs. More than that, you should encourage creating a supportive work environment and allow each person to use the vacation time that they have worked hard to earn.

Be aware that some workers may also not want to take time off of work because they are afraid of the pile of work that may await them when they return. You can ask your employees what needs to be done to minimize the amount of work that could pile up while they are gone. You can also promote remote working or flex time. As long as an employee’s tasks are completed in a timely manner, there may not be a reason to closely scrutinize hours worked within reason.

2. Be Realistic with Workload

Another cause of burnout relates to employees being loaded with more work than they can realistically handle. They may feel as though they must work extended hours regularly to keep up with the demands of the job, and they may not want to take any time off for fear this could cause them to fall farther behind. You should only give each worker a realistic workload that can reasonably be completed within normal business hours.

When employees are preparing to take a vacation, avoid piling extra work on them at the last minute. You should also not call any employees during their vacation. Their time away from work should be theirs to decompress and to completely take their mind off of work.

3. Show Your Employees You Care

There are many steps that you can take through your management efforts that show your team that you care about them on a personal level and that you want them to be healthy and happy. Adopt an open-door policy, and listen aptly when a sensitive issue or problem is brought to your attention.

Each employee should be comfortable talking to you about issues that are causing them stress in the workplace, and you should take active steps to remedy situations when possible. To further reduce the chance of burnout, encourage your employees to take a full lunch hour away from the office and to take their allotted 15-minute breaks each morning and afternoon.

You also need to remember that each of your employees has a personal life, and there may be some issues that could impact their work performance. If you detect or become aware of a personal problem, allow the individual to take use paid time off as needed. You can also encourage working from home, which can decrease stress and help your workers achieve a healthier work-life balance. For instance at kununu, employees have the freedom to take one day every work week to telecommute and several flexible “work-from-home” days a month to use as needed.

4. Make Vacations a Positive Experience

Vacations are a time to recharge and to enjoy a mental and emotional break from the stress of the workplace. When you take a vacation, share your experiences with your team. Show them that taking a vacation is not viewed negatively, and talk about how it can help your team to recharge and relax. In some cases, you may even require your overworked employees to take a few days off periodically.

While you may only offer a certain amount of paid vacation time, you may think about offering an unlimited vacation policy. After their paid time is used up, your team could take unpaid days off without penalty or repercussions. Remember that there is a financial benefit to your company if your team uses their full vacation time regularly. When an individual is laid off or quits, you will not have to shell out cash to pay for unused vacation time.


Employee burnout is a serious issue that requires your regular attention. You should evaluate your team’s current level of stress and the current overall feelings regarding workload and vacation time. If necessary, take steps to improve this situation. This can bolster productivity and morale in the workplace, and it may reduce turnover as a result.



Jen McKenzie
Jen McKenzie
Jen McKenzie is an up-and-coming author from NY. She usually writes on business, marketing and HR subjects. When not at her desk, you can find her taking long strolls in the countryside or enjoying her free time brushing up on photo editing. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie

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