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How to prevent burnout

Now that we’re over halfway through the year, chances are that the employees in your organisation are starting to feel the strain. 

With four out of five Australians experiencing some form of burnout last year – some of the highest rates in the world – it is essential that organisations are equipped to help their employees handle the stress of the modern workplace. 

So how can you protect your employees and create a productive work environment? Read on to find out more. 

First of all, what is burnout?

According to the eleventh edition of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), burnout is an occupational phenomenon “conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Some of the symptoms of burnout include:

  • Being unable to start work or properly concentrate
  • Becoming short, irritable, or impatient with colleagues/clients
  • Being overly cynical or critical 
  • Feeling dissatisfied and disillusioned with work
  • Feeling unrecognised and undervalued 
  • Pulling away from colleagues
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns

Burnout is estimated to cost the Australian economy $14.81 billion every year, with prolonged stress being linked with poor quality work and high staff turnover. 

How can organisations prevent burnout?

Below are four ways that your organisation can help prevent and manage employee burnout. 

01. Open communication

Vague tasks, unclear expectations, and impossible workloads are a sure way to overwhelm your employees and send them straight down the path of burnout. By improving the communication throughout your organisation, you can establish clear parameters for work and help to make employees feel involved. 

According to a study conducted by Asana, only 15% of employees feel as though they are heard by their organisation. By making sure that every voice is heard in the organisation, you can help make employees feel engaged and motivated. 

02. Ensure your employees are properly trained

Your employees need to be well-equipped to perform in their role; otherwise, they may begin to feel frustrated, stressed, and as if they don’t have control.

By ensuring that each employee has a specific job description and expected contribution, as well as opportunities to hone the skills needed for their position, you can ensure that your team is clear regarding their place in the organisation. 

03. Encourage healthy work-life balance

One of the major factors that have contributed to recent burnout levels is the blur between work-life balance that has skyrocketed since COVID-19. Working from home has led to many employees taking on a greater amount of work, with 89% of employees working late according to a recent study

By establishing clear parameters around work times as well as time off – and ensuring that your leaders exemplify these – you can encourage your employees to take the break they need to stay fresh and motivated. 

04. Build employee resilience

Resilience is the ability to effectively deal with stress and other emotions. Employees with high levels of resilience are able to bounce back from setbacks and recognise their own feelings, which can allow them to take notice of early signs of burnout and utilise coping strategies to mitigate it. 

Resilience is an essential skill for the modern workplace, especially in the fight against burnout. Organisations should focus on encouraging this skill set in their employees through training and wellbeing initiatives. 

For more information about how you can help your employees to better cope with workplace stress and avoid burnout, check out our Resilience training course. 



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