They're taking too much or not enough time off
According to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, both men and women experience burnout equally as often, but they tend to deal with burnout differently.
“In my experience, I have not found that one gender burns out more often than the other,” Clark says. “I have, however, observed a difference in how the genders process and deal with burnout.” She says she’s noticed men tend to take more time off to refresh and seem to be better at setting boundaries at work. Women take less time off when they are feeling burnt out, and often struggle with pressure to perform well and prove themselves worthy of the job.
What to do: “Both genders have to work to overcome burnout, and discover what program works for them with the help and support of their leader,” says Clark.
They have a constant heavy workload
Clark recommends that leaders take time to assess how much employees really have on their plates. “Personally, there have been many seasons in my career where long hours are required,” Clark says. “But I’m looking for it to be a season—not a pattern.”
What to do: Whether it’s a failed audit or a strict deadline, Clark encourages leaders to help employees estimate how long a busy season will last. Next, determine what additional resources or knowledge your employee needs to get work done most effectively.
If you believe your employee’s drive to work overtime is self-inflicted rather than a result of an organizational demand, Clark says to encourage them to take time off to reflect and refresh.
They're unmotivated to succeed
“Burnt out employees don’t always quit,” Will says. “Most times, they stay and perform at lower levels.”
A survey by ComPsych found 56 percent of employees say their top job priority is accomplishing basic responsibilities, 27 percent view simply being present as their most important task, and only 17 percent see performance improvement as their top work goal.
What to do: Will warns leaders to pay special attention to highly motivated employees, because they can convert to burnt out employees very quickly. “Leaders must always be on the lookout for the signs of burnout,” he says.
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