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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Employee Burnout

Employee burnout is precisely described as a state of chronic and emotional exhaustion that is led by prolonged exposure to extreme work stress and pressure. It hampers an employee's life, which involves loss of personal identity. Burnout may also lead to isolation, skepticism which can be seen in decreased productivity and increased absenteeism.

In such a fast-paced working environment, these are the often seen signs of employee burnout, and it is critical to develop strategies and pay attention to the cause and try to create a more positive and healthy work environment.

What is employee burnout?

Employee burnout is a state of fatigue and exhaustion that is a result of continuous exposure to high levels of stress and work pressure. Burnout can occur when employees are burdened with workloads, insufficient time, support, and various job demands.

Excessive workload and stress impact employee performance and well-being, such as physical and mental health, which also decreases productivity and causes frequent absenteeism.

Listen, recognize, award, and retain your employees with our Employee engagement software  

What causes employee burnout?

Causes of employee burnout can be varied organizations, but the leading tailored causes of employee burnout are as follow:

  1. Job mismatch
  2. Work-life balance
  3. Lack of clear expectations
  4. Personal factors
  5. Excessive workload
  6. Absence of authority

   .  1. Job mismatch: When the skills of the employees don't align with the interest, values can lead to decreased involvement and an increased rate of burnout.

       2. Work-life balance: Due to excessive workforce and stress, one is not able to maintain the balance between work and family as the energy is drained then the           person is not able to spend time with their family.

       3. Lack of clear expectations: When employees are communicated with unclear expectations about job responsibilities and goals can lead to stress and confusion.

      4. Personal factors: One may cause employee burnout because of personal factors, which may include unattainable deadlines, high self-expectations, and           perfectionism.

       5. Excessive workload: Aligned with the workload, responsibilities without proper support or tools can lead to burnout.

       6. Absence of authority: Individuals cause an inability to make certain decisions related to work, such as scheduling the day and getting through the assignment,           which can lead to burnout.

What are the signs of employee burnout?

Some of the signs of employee burnout are listed below:

      1. Loss of motivation

      2. Chronic and mental exhaustion

      3. Disengagement

      4. Cognitive functioning

      5. Physical symptoms

        1. Loss of motivation: Not being appreciated or recognized at the project and feeling less or no energy can lead to loss of motivation which tends to decrease hope           in the job role and opportunities.

        2. Chronic and mental exhaustion: When the employee feels exhausted without even starting the day, causing trouble with sleep and overthinking about the job            area few signs of burnout.

        3. Disengagement: Employees losing interest in the task which they before found enjoyable are signs of burnout. Be it at work, starting to avoid upcoming projects,           or communicating with employees.

        4. Cognitive functioning: Having difficulty with concentration, creative thinking, and problem-solving are a few examples of cognitive burnout.

        5. Physical symptoms: Employees also deal with physical signs such as fatigue, headache, and disturbed sleep patterns.

How to prevent employee burnout?

Proactive approaches are required to prevent employee burnout. Some of the strategies are as follows:

  1. Setting realistic expectations
  2. Encouraging open communication
  3. Encouraging employees
  4. Professional development
  5. Encourage work-life balance
  1. Setting realistic expectations: The organization can ensure that employees are catered to realistic expectations of workload and reasonable deadlines which align with the employee's capabilities, which can neglect overloading with excessive responsibilities.
  2. Encouraging open communication: Encouraging a holistic approach and creating an environment for employees to express their feelings and concerns. Keep a regular check with the employees to understand their stress levels and workload.
  3. Encouraging employees: Providing employees with certain opportunities which involve brainstorming, decision-making ability, and keeping their opinions in front.
  4. Professional development: Coming up with opportunities to learn and grow, which helps in fostering professional development like mentoring sessions, workshops, and additional training.
  5. Encourage work-life balance: Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life allow organizations to encourage flexible arrangements like working from home to support the balance between the two.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

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