Managers: 5 Signs of Employee Burnout You Might Be Missing and What You Can Do About It

Employee burnout is a harsh reality that you have to come to terms with. It is something that simply cannot be avoided, no matter how exciting the job is and how many perks the management offers. There is bound to come a time when the employee will start feeling tired of the routine and gives up the zeal that they initially used to put forth. This most certainly does not mean that the employee needs to be thrown out or that you will have to begin the process of training another ‘worker’ again.

What you need to keep in mind is that your employees are your most valuable assets. As a manager or the CEO of a company, it is your job to ensure the health and happiness of all the employees. It is essential to know that if they are not giving their all, the wellbeing of the company is at stake. Burnout happens due to stress, toxic work environment, and other problems at work. The signs may not be too visible, but it is your job to find them out before the situation gets out of hand.

Also read: How to Deal with Employee Burnout

By paying a little attention, you can deduce the signs of your employee’s burnout and avoid it from turning into a full-blown disaster. You can also help your workers overcome the issue.

Here are 5 signs of employee burnout and what you can do about them.

1. Exhaustion is Obvious

This is the number one clue that can help you decipher if employee burnout is about to take place. It is completely normal for anyone to feel tired from time to time, but if feelings of fatigue that is obvious continue on, this means something more is on the stove.

Keep in mind that the exhaustion would not only be physical where you find your worker sleeping on their desk. Instead, it will be emotional as well. You would be able to see it in their entire demeanor. The headaches, body aches will be more frequent, and the breaks they take from work will be extended and out of the ordinary. Dark circles under eyes, loss of weight, worn out expressions and ill appearance are also signs of burnout.


Ask them what is going on. Confirm whether it is burnout or something else. Are they facing issues at home? Is something or someone bothering them at work? What can you do to help? Employees are happy when they see that their bosses care. If there is something wrong, they are likely to confide in you. Even if it is burnout, you can give them a few days off or let them have a vacation to get over the exhaustion.

Also read: How To Keep Your Team Energized When Exhaustion Sets In

One more thing that you can do is ensure that their work pressure is reduced and there is someone to assist them when the workload is too much. Be sure to let the employees do something new if the work has become repetitive or boring for them. This also helps in bringing the zeal back.

2. Apparent Mood Issues

Moodiness, irritability or a generally negative attitude at work is a dead giveaway of burnout of an employee. If you feel that a happy go lucky employee has suddenly become quiet and is avoiding everyone, you need to find out the root cause of the problem. Remember, Low morale clearly indicates a burnout episode, and this has to be taken into consideration.


Start by appreciating the employee. Let them and other workers know how much you value the burnout employee and how effective they have been for the organization. Encouragement and appreciation go a long way in making anyone feel better, especially employees.

You can also talk to them in private and bestow on them a letter of appreciation. You will be surprised by how small words of praise from the boss go a long way in making the employee work even harder than before.

3. Accidents and Missing Days

Has your regular employee suddenly started taking too many ‘off days,’ sick days or days where they got into some kind of “accident”? A classic example of a burnout employee is when they become absent in action. By not being at work, workers don’t have to deal with the stress or routine of their work life. Since they are not sure about what to do, escape is the only option available.

Keep in mind that not all employees take a leave as an excuse for sickness, but they might actually be sick. Frequent colds or fever along with headaches and body aches are classic signs that a person is under stress. If your employee is getting ill too often, you need to be concerned.


Start an office wellness program. It will not only include monthly or weekly lectures on how to stay physically fit but how employees can cope with stress and remain mentally sane in their busy lives. You can also get rid of soda and crisp vending machines, as well as processed cafeteria food. Introduce healthy snack and food choices.

Also read: A Wellness Culture at Work Takes More Than Words

Make sure your employees get enough leaves so as not to get overworked.

4. Lower Levels of Engagement

When an employee stops taking an interest in their work or does not pay attention like they used to, it is a sign of a burnout employee. Unenthusiastic behavior is pretty obvious, and it will stand out like a sore thumb in someone who previously was an active worker. Observe and notice these difference when you see them and pay attention.


Get your employees more involved in decision making. Let them see that they are an integral part of the company and their opinion as well as work matters. Make them part of a project or task that you know they will enjoy or appreciate being a part of. Let them decide if they want to pursue something new with the company or if you can let them learn something new that would add value to their credentials as well as benefit the company.

5. Unfinished Tasks and Assignments

Is your employee leaving for home without finishing their assigned tasks for the day? Are the projects getting delayed and deadlines missing too much? Pay heed, not all is well. Too many mistakes are also signs of burnout or something troublesome. Take a look at their workload because the possibility is that they have too much on their plates.


Lessen the workload or hire an assistant. Ask the employee if there is something they are unable to cope with and then see what you can do to reduce the burden. Let them take a few days off if they are drained.

Remember, your employees are humans, and you cannot expect them to work tirelessly without repercussions. Cut them some slack and let them know you care. They will want to show you their worth by giving the company even better results.

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