5 Signs Your Employee is Burning Out

If anyone can spot employee burnout it's author Mason Donovan, whose book, The Golden Apple, focuses on the importance of achieving work-life balance.

If anyone can spot employee burnout it's author Mason Donovan, whose book,The Golden Apple, focuses on the importance of achieving work-life balance. Keep reading below for Donovan's tips on the telltale signs that your direct report is stretched too thin.

By Mason Donovan for LinkedIn

Great news, your business is rocketing. You have an all-star team that has been working non-stop since start-up. Margins are thin, but you are considering hiring another person to lighten the load. Before you take the dive into the job boards you ask a few of your A players how they are holding up. Each and every one of them says they are fine and can handle the work load. Case closed. You just saved some funds to buy you that cool new hover desk.

But wait, a feeling in your gut says that they may be just telling you what they think you want to hear. Hey, who wants to look weak in front of the boss, right? You know that if you lose even one critical employee you would be up the veritable creek. So what are the five quick signs you should look for to see if your report has a one way ticket to Burnsville?

  1. The Muffin Man – When you run a sleep deficit, research has shown your body will crave carbohydrates. The greater the deficit, the more you will see your employee belly up to the bagel bar.
  2. Say What? – The constant grind will erode the attention span of even the most astute employee. Asking you to repeat yourself or requiring you to draw out simple explanations is a sign that the lights may be on, but nobody is home.
  3. Red Bulling It – Sure all of us enjoy a little morning eye opener or afternoon pick-me-up. When your employee is downing a red bull with an expresso chaser, it may just be a sign their natural energy stores are used up.
  4. Details, Details, Details – In the beginning she was great with dotting every i and crossing the t’s. Now you are regularly discovering the i’s and t’s are missing altogether. An overwhelmed mind on the verge of burn out will take short cuts with its limited bandwidth. If the devil is in the details, a burned out employee will make it feel like hell.
  5. Ouch! – Absent a physical injury, back pain is often a sign of diverted stress. Is your meeting full of walkers whose lower back pain make it uncomfortable to sit? That pain in their backs may lead to unexpected absences which may cause a pain in your…um… bottom line.

If any of the above happen infrequently, then it may just be due to an occasional bender. However, if your employee is exhibiting two or more of these signs over a period of time, schedule a more serious discussion. Don’t get left holding the candle when it is lit on both ends or it will be you that gets burned. Looking out for the health of your employee will directly result in the health of your company. When it comes to determining if your reports are sputtering out, actions will speak far louder than words. Look for the signs.

  • The Golden Apple

    Redefining Work-Life Balance for a Diverse Workforce, 1st Edition

    By Mason Donovan

    Organizations are coming to the reality that work-life balance is no longer solely an issue for working women. As we progress further into the 21st century, workers and ways of working are changing. We have four generations operating together in the workplace, and a tremendous variety of…

    Hardback – 2016-09-13

Improve Through Personal Growth

Joy of Strategy by Allison Rimm

Your life is serious business, but who says you can't find joy along the way? As a person with unique gifts to offer, it is your responsibility to use your talents wisely and it is your right to enjoy yourself while doing so. In The Joy of Strategy, Allison Rimm provides a structured, step-by-step program to create a business plan for your life. Find out more about this title here.

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