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How to Tell When an Employee is Getting Burned Out

Being a manager is a difficult job at times.  Not only are you responsible for the productivity of the department or business that you run, but you also need to take care of your employees.  Taking time to know their different personality types will help you to discover the signs that the employee is struggling.  Finding out what motivates the different people on your team is a great start.  Encouraging them to take days off and to take their full lunch break are ways to show your appreciation for what they do and show them that you care about their well-being.  

It is inevitable that you will find yourself in your career dealing with an employee that is on the verge of burnout.  Being able to spot the signs early can help you work through what the best solution is for you and your employee. Here are a few signs to look for.

Increase in Time Off

When employees are getting burned out, they may experience physical symptoms in addition to mental or emotional.  The stress you feel from work overload can manifest itself into physical symptoms such as feeling sick. Dealing with difficult management or hostile coworkers can have employees feeling like they can’t even get out of bed.  

Experiencing extreme fatigue from overworking can pose its own threats.  Fatigue can affect concentration and lead to mistakes or accidents at work.

Lack of Enthusiasm

An employee that was once energetic and excited to tackle new projects and tasks but now behaving different may be showing signs of burn out.  It is imperative to note the typical behaviors of members of your team. This way when behavior changes you can act quickly to avoid any potential situations.

Showing up Late

Employees that begin showing up late for their shifts is another sign to look for.  Employees that show up late that never struggled with tardiness in the past are showing disengagement from their position.  When employees are burnt out, or on the verge, the will begin to disengage from the job and not see it as vital as they once did.  This causes behaviors such as showing up late, leaving early, and even calling out with little notice.


When employees are just done with their work environment, it is widespread for them to begin to separate themselves.  Not participating in office activities and not chatting with their coworkers. Many times, they will even have lunch by themselves to avoid talking with people.  Sometimes this can be a way for them to detach from the position.

These are just some of the signs that employees can show.  It is important to note that not all employees will show the same symptoms.  It is also essential that you know their different personalities. Sometimes even just a small gesture on your part such as bringing in healthy snacks for the breakroom can go a long way.  You, taking the time to know your teammates will make for a more positive work environment.



"Time spent with cats is never wasted." ~ Sigmund Freud