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Preventing Burnout; How Organisations Can Help Employees

Updated: Jul 25, 2023


The workplace can be tough. Between work-life balance, long hours, and demanding managers, it's no wonder why employees might get burned out. In this article, we'll look at what burnout is and how organisations can help their employees avoid it.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by chronic workplace stress. It's often preceded by a period where you feel exhausted but unable to take time off work because of deadlines or other pressures.

The effects can be serious: people who are burned out are more likely to suffer from depression, which in turn can lead to absenteeism (they don't come into work) or presenteeism (they're at work but not performing well).

Burnouts also have negative consequences for employers--the cost of replacing staff who leave due to burnout adds up quickly! And if you're an employer who wants their employees healthy enough not only for themselves but also so they can perform their jobs well without getting sick from overwork, then preventing burnout should be high on your agenda.

The link between burnout and turnover

Burnout is more likely to occur in jobs with high-stress levels and low job satisfaction.

Burnout is a major contributor to staff turnover, which can be a sign of burnout. The cost of staff turnover for organisations can be significant - on average across all industries, it's estimated that replacing an employee costs between 30% - 50% of their annual salary. Staff turnover has been shown to reduce productivity and increase absenteeism.

Signs and symptoms of staff burnout

Signs and symptoms of staff burnout are:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Low self-esteem

  • Inability to focus or concentrate on work tasks, resulting in poor performance and a lack of productivity

  • Feeling disconnected from the organisation, colleagues and/or clients (i.e., feeling like you don't belong)

It is important for organisations to understand the signs of staff burnout so they can implement strategies to prevent it from happening within their organisation.

Causes of burnout

  • High demands: This can be due to excessive workloads and poor communication between managers, or if the company doesn't have an open culture where people feel comfortable talking about their concerns.

  • Lack of control: Employees feel that they have no control over their lives and work, which can lead to feelings of helplessness and frustration.

  • Lack of support: When employees feel unsupported by their managers or colleagues, they begin to feel isolated in the workplace and this can lead to burnout as well as other mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

  • Lack of rewards or recognition: People who don't receive proper recognition for their efforts are more likely to become demotivated over time because they don't feel valued in the organisation's eyes. This could be something as simple as not being thanked enough for doing good work; it could also mean that your company doesn't have performance review systems in place so you don't know if your efforts are paying off at all!

It's important that organisations do whatever they can within reason (within budget) so that everyone feels valued within them - whether this means giving out bonuses every year or simply saying thank you more often than once per month.

How can organisations help their employees avoid burnout?

As a manager, you might be wondering what you can do to help your employees prevent burnout. Here are some ways organisations can help their employees avoid burnout:

  • Offering flexible working arrangements. This includes allowing employees to work remotely, setting their own hours and encouraging them to take time off when needed.

  • Advocating a positive work-life balance. They should encourage managers and leaders to make sure they are not overworking or pressuring their team members into doing more than they can handle.

  • Providing a variety of work options so that employees have the choice between different types of roles within the business as well as external opportunities that may interest them more than what is currently available internally at the company (e.g., freelancing).

  • Offering support, encouragement and mentoring for those who may be struggling with certain aspects of life outside work such as relationships or finances - especially if these issues might negatively affect performance at work

  • Improving work-life balance. Encourage employees to take breaks and exercise regularly, eat well and get enough sleep. These things will all help them stay healthy and happy at work.

  • Mindfulness training or therapy is also beneficial for reducing stress levels in the workplace, which may lead to less severe symptoms of burnout over time if done consistently by employees who feel overwhelmed by their workloads or responsibilities as part of their job description (i.e., workers who have high expectations placed on them).


Burnout is a serious issue that can have a detrimental effect on both the employee and the organisation. It's important to recognise the signs of burnout and take action before it gets too late. The good news is that there are many things you can do to prevent employees from burning out, such as ensuring they have enough time off work or offering more flexible working hours where possible.

How we can help

If you want to increase awareness of burnout and help prevent the impact of chronic stress in your employees, you might be interested in our training sessions.

Grounded in cutting-edge scientific research in positive psychology & coaching psychology, our training, consultation and executive coaching services cover the following core areas to help your organisation thrive:

  • Compassionate Leadership

  • Supporting Mental Wellbeing & Building Resilience

  • Emotional Intelligence & Communication Skills

  • Promoting A Positive Workplace Culture Using Positive Psychology

  • Mindfulness to Boost Performance

  • Mastering Strengths and Goal Setting


​​Find out more below and book a discovery call to discuss how we can help you and your organisation beat chronic stress and flourish.


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