Burnout is a serious issue in the tech sector. IT professionals work long hours under significant stress, and many pros view extreme pressure as a fact of life in their profession. However, chronic stress can lead to burnout – and burned out employees are less productive, make more mistakes, often suffer from anxiety and depression, and ultimately leave the company. If you notice the signs of employee burnout on your tech team, take immediate steps to remedy the situation to help your employees and to decrease the chance that burnout will lead to turnover.
Signs Of Burnout
Burnout can manifest itself in a number of ways, but these are some of the most common signs that your team members are hitting a brick wall:
- An unexplained decrease in quality: When stellar employees start turning in poor quality work riddled with mistakes, they could be suffering from severe stress and burnout.
- Tension between teammates: Burnout can cause people to become more irritable, and it can lead to bickering and arguing throughout the day. If your team is suddenly at each other’s throats, burnout could be the culprit.
- Apathy: When formerly-engaged employees seem genuinely apathetic about their work and their jobs, it is a sign that something is brewing beneath the surface.
- A surge in unscheduled call-offs: When people are burned out, it takes a toll on both their mental and physical health. If you are experiencing a surge in call-offs, your team could be getting sick due to stress or they could be taking “mental health days” to give themselves a break from the job.
How To Help Employees Who Are Burned Out
If members of your team are exhibiting signs of burnout, you can step in to help them. Here are just a few suggestions that can make a real difference:
- Convince the burned out employee to take a few days off. This is especially important if they have PTO saved up. Even a short break can help the employee recharge their batteries.
- Ask what they need from you to better manage workload. Develop a plan to take some work off their plate until they are caught up and feeling better.
- Implement mandatory break times. Have everyone stop what they are doing and move around for ten minutes mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
- Allow flexible work schedules. Remote work and flexible in-office schedules can go a long way. Cutting out a commute a few days a week or ensuring an employee can put their kids on the school bus can greatly reduce stress.
- Staff up. Perhaps there is simply too much work to go around and too many employees are pulling double duty. If burnout seems to be running rampant on your team, it might be time to add short-term contractors to help out or even add new full-time members of the staff.