Staff Burnout: How to Recognize and Fix It

It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s affecting organizations large and small. The challenge of filling open positions in today’s labor market is leaving jobs unfilled longer than ever. Meanwhile, work still needs to get done, so a heavier burden is placed on the existing staff. That additional workload is leading to staff burnout, which in turn is causing employees to quit. And guess what? That leaves even more work for the remaining team, which has to pick up the slack as the hiring process starts all over again.

There are no easy answers, but the first step in tackling this all-too-common scenario is recognizing the problem. Only then can a company begin to take steps to address it.

Identifying staff burnout

Employees will never be content with every aspect of their job or the organization, but staff burnout takes that to an entirely new level. What may start as grumbling among some workers about a few issues progresses to dissatisfaction among many employees about multiple issues. For an employer, it may seem that nearly every request or direction is met with pushback; that is a clear sign they have a more significant problem on their hands.

Further, employers will begin to notice that the quantity and quality of work is declining. Then, work isn’t getting done at all. And finally, a steady stream of employee resignations takes place. The message is clear: the staff is burned out, and in a job market where there are far more openings than employees to fill them, an employer needs to take action immediately. 

How to address staff burnout 

Once an employer has identified staff burnout, decisive steps need to be taken. First, evaluate the organization’s workload – not only the current responsibilities, but also those in the pipeline. Then, assess whether the existing team has the expertise, skill and bandwidth to handle it.

If the answer is no, there are two options for addressing the situation. The first is to stop taking on additional projects. While it may be difficult to turn work down, accepting more and putting an even-greater burden on an already-overwhelmed staff is a losing proposition.

The second option is to secure the resources needed to handle the workload; in other words, hire more staff. And if that’s something the organization has been trying to do without success, it’s time to bring in reinforcements to expedite and improve the hiring process.

In either case, the professionals at Alaant are skilled at working with companies to address the effects of staff burnout and get them back on a positive path. We can review workflow and better align it with current staffing levels; we can create strategies to ramp up hiring; and we can work with you, or independently, to hire the top talent you need. Interested in learning more? Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Miriam Dushane

Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner

Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the Capital District grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping talented professionals find the right job and her work in the community is focused on furthering our area as a center of economic vitality. Miriam likes to garden and care for her pets. She is a member of an adult-only skate group where she rollerblades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.