No matter what field you are in or whether your business has managed to stay prosperous despite the economic recession, your team members may experience fatigue and burnout. If your business has fallen on tough times and has faced downsizing, burnout will most likely surface in some form.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) studied how fatigue currently plagues the American workforce: the prevalence of fatigue in the US is as high as 37.9%, with 65.7% of these fatigued workers reporting their productivity was severely hindered. This loss of productivity and weak performance is said to cost employers $136.4 billion annually. As the economic climate remains on edge, organizational leaders must do something to curb fatigue or risk dealing with its much more severe and costly counterpart, burnout.
Organizations must make preventing burnout and fatigue a priority. While fatigue may surface as exhaustion or a “funk” caused by stress, burnout is a syndrome with more troubling symptoms. These include:
- Loss of interest in work and hobbies
- Absenteeism and low performance
- Low or levels of confidence, energy and concentration
- Feelings of hopelessness
Fatigue left unchecked can kindle into burnout – it must be caught and corrected as early as possible. If you see symptoms of burnout in yourself or your coworkers, be sure to consider the following in order to address the situation:
- Offer encouragement and ask how you can be of assistance.
- Identify and empathize with their distress. Do not pass judgment.
- Mention existing employee assistance programs and other referral options, such as executive coaching.
Learning to prevent burnout in your team or organization is paramount to your continued success. If you notice potential problems in your team members, don’t be afraid to suggest the following steps to avoid burnout or fatigue.
- Identify and eliminate sources of significant stress.
- Pay special attention to your physical well being.
- Be vigilant of all your various responsibilities in life, not just work-related duties.
- Recall what makes you passionate about your work and why it matters.