Increased Absenteeism: You may notice an increase in unplanned absences and sick leaves among employees. When individuals are physically and emotionally drained, they may feel the need to take more time off from work to recover or escape from the pressures of the job. Frequent and unexplained absences can be a sign that an employee is struggling with burnout.
Decreased Productivity: You may also observe a noticeable decline in a CSR’s ability to perform at their usual level of efficiency. Missed deadlines, decreased output, and a drop in the overall quality of work are potential signs of burnout. Individuals struggling with burnout often find it challenging to concentrate, become easily distracted, and lack the necessary energy to complete tasks efficiently.
Frequent Errors or Accidents: “Oops. My bad. I didn’t notice…I swear I did…I forgot.” Cognitive abilities and attention to detail may suffer, resulting in an increased occurrence of errors or accidents. Paying attention to mistakes that are uncharacteristic of an employee or noticing a rise in near-misses can serve as early warning signs of burnout. These errors can manifest in different aspects of work, such as logistical note-taking and paperwork, call-handling, booking rates, contribution to team conversations, and other technical tasks. Burnout will compromise the quality of an employee’s work.
Lack of Interest: One of the distressing effects of burnout is the profound decline in motivation and enthusiasm for work. It’s important to recognize that employees may experience a loss of their sense of purpose and engagement, leading to a disinterest in their tasks and responsibilities. They may exhibit signs of apathy, lacking the initiative and drive they once had. A noticeable drop in their overall level of enthusiasm for their job can become evident. These signs of unhappiness at work serve as poignant reminders that individuals may be struggling with burnout and require support and understanding to reignite their passion and find fulfillment in their roles.
Emotional Exhaustion: Another core symptom of burnout is emotional exhaustion. Employees may feel drained, overwhelmed, and emotionally depleted. They may experience increased irritability, mood swings, or emotional outbursts. Emotional exhaustion can manifest as a general feeling of being emotionally spent and can impact their interactions with colleagues, supervisors, and customers.
Interpersonal Conflicts: Burnout can also contribute to interpersonal conflicts within the workplace. If you see someone display signs of increased irritability, impatience, or sensitivity, leading to friction with colleagues and supervisors, you can determine the source is – yes, burnout. This can be portrayed as arguments, disagreements, or a breakdown in communication.
By being attentive to these symptoms, managers and supervisors can identify signs of burnout early on and take appropriate action. This may involve providing additional support, adjusting workloads, promoting work-life balance, encouraging open communication, and exploring ways to improve employee well-being. Addressing burnout proactively can help prevent further negative consequences and promote a healthier and more productive work environment.
Now that you know what burnout is and what to look for, the next step is to learn how to address and, ideally, prevent burnout from striking your business during the busiest months of the year. (Stay tuned for our next article!)