Here is What Management can do for Burnout

Here is What Management can do for Burnout

Do you also experience Monday blues at your work? Work burnout is a more intense and extended version of the Monday blues. A survey conducted by Forbes found that the percentage of burnout employees increased from 43% before Covid-19 to 52% in 2021.

Burnout may seem like a temporary problem, but the consequences are long-lasting for both the employee and the employer. Businesses lose up to $1 trillion every year from low productivity.

For a startup, productivity is often the difference between death and success. So, eliminating burnout is not a choice; organizations have to do it.

What does burnout look like?

What does burnout look like?

Source: Freepik

Your team is the biggest asset, and the business suffers when it is not doing well. You may lose talented professionals and see a dip in revenue.

Here are some signs of burnout in your organization:

  • Workers cannot concentrate on their jobs
  • Their sleeping routine is messed up
  • Feeling lost, getting annoyed and confused at work
  • Using alcohol or drugs to relieve stress
  • Not involving much with others and looking drained of energy
  • Physiological symptoms: headaches, irregular blood pressure, panic attacks, etc.

Symptoms may vary, but it’s not hard to spot the disengagement of workers. Let’s look at some actions that help to counter burnout.

Five things management can do about burnout

You have to look for the causes first. Think about it. Why is fatigue happening? What can you change or improve to fix it? Then find out how your employees feel about the work culture and their jobs. And don’t just chat about it. Be open to listening to anything the workers say about exhaustion and negative organizational aspects.

1. Getting feedback and valuing employees

Exhaustion at the workplace is not an individual problem; the work culture and the management. It usually happens to more than one employee.

You can conduct anonymous surveys or polls. Discuss the exhaustion informally in meetings. It’s essential to give a more humane vibe during these discussions to get honest feedback.

For example, specific questions like – What changes to the leave policy can help you be more productive? A good implementation here could be intermittent mental health leaves. 

The purpose is to get feedback on all aspects that lead to burnout at work. The next part is about the supportive culture. Understand – more work hours do not mean more productivity.

A Stanford Varsity research suggests that hourly productivity decreases gradually after you work more than 50 hours a week.

Create a culture where employees take charge of their work and are motivated to achieve essential business goals without exhaustion. Get employee feedback regularly, and promote exercise habits, self-care, and work-life balance.

2. Making the role of employees clear

What happens when you work a lot and still don’t make progress? You get messed up. Everyone needs direction when it comes to working. Why are you doing what you do? What to do next? 

When the employees fail to see the bigger picture or need to remember their objectives, the leaders should be the go-to person to seek help from.

What if the workers feel incompetent? You must enable your team to understand their roles and responsibilities with the help of goals or OKRs (Objectives and key results). OKR Software create alignment between the employees and their work. You set clear and specific OKRs that tie their work with essential business goals.

Ideally, the OKR management framework needs continuous feedback via regular check-ins. This also supports a more engaged culture, hence is anti-burnout.

3. Fair recognition and appraisals

Employees know when there is unfair pay in the organization. And it instantly drops their morale.

If this goes on long enough, the stress builds up into burnout. 

Putting a fair performance recognition system in place is profitable for businesses in the long term. You can achieve this by successfully running a continuous performance management system at work.

This system is based on ongoing two-way feedback and individual goals or OKRs. You can identify any burnout-related warning signs plus address good performance quickly.

4. Making the workplace more psychologically safe

Train your team and managers to be more helpful and care about each other at work. Only 43% of employees say their team has a positive climate.

It’s not hard to create a work environment where employees unhesitantly ask for help, share suggestions, and operate without fear. You have to be more humane.

When you welcome ideas from the team, you drive innovation with diverse opinions. This is crucial for business problem-solving.

Take the lead to enable employees to value each other’s efforts, brainstorm, and have friendly discussions.

How to promote psychological safety?

  • Training and leadership development. Define a clear strategy.
  • Adopting a continuous performance management system with OKRs. Enable the team to come together and collaborate actively.
  • Get feedback on the work environment from the team. You can take surveys and direct feedback.
  • Make the workforce aware of possible issues and solutions related to psychological safety.

All the changes in employee behavior do not happen in days; it has to develop into habits and ultimately become part of the work culture.

5. Setting realistic goals and expectations

It takes some time to observe specific behaviors at work. For example, to know if the OKRs you assigned a team are realistic or not, you have to wait for the cycle (usually a quarter) to complete.

Apart from observations, you can directly ask the team to react to the ‘expectations.’ Use surveys and questionnaires to get feedback.

Setting realistic goals

Source: Freepik

Here’s how to set realistic expectations:

  • Choose OKRs thoughtfully, and involve everyone in the process. Set clear goals and offer some flexibility.
  • Use OKR management software and conduct regular check-ins to identify irrelevant and unrealistic goals.
  • Let the team focus and give them some amount of autonomy.
  • Realize any warning signs for burnout and make changes immediately.
  • Be open to any opinions employees have to share.

Goals should be ambitious but not at the expense of productivity. Don’t set the bar too high, and hear your employees.

The helpful points mentioned above don’t work separately but in unity. Most working people have gone through some burnout in their lives. So it’s not a difficult thing to understand.

Leaders worldwide must be more empathetic and understand that they can get more business by having a healthy and motivated team.

Some tools and organizations help business teams to execute their work successfully with enablement rather than average work.

Get in touch with us here if you want to build a high-performing culture where employee burnout doesn’t exist. 

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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