The Holidays are a time full of joy, except at work. After a long 12 month work year, many employees are dragging themselves through these last few weeks before they get some well-earned time off.  

This is understandable, especially as we reach the end of 2020 which was a whirlwind for all.  However, there is still work to be done so managers and HR staff need to be extra vigilant during this time. 

On the other hand, stress and anxiety about deadlines that need to be met by the end of the year can also lead to employee burnout around this time. 

What Exactly is “Burnout”?

Employee burnout describes circumstances when employees are physically and mentally drained to the point where it affects their work. There is no singular cause, as a variety of things can contribute to it including stressful projects or clients, lack of support from both management and co-workers, impeding deadlines or simply being overworked. 

Most commonly, employees who set unrealistic goals for themselves or have expectations that are too high experience burnout more. 

Overcoming Employee Burnout: 

There an array of ways to beat employee burnout. Since every workplace and set of employees is different, different methods may work for depending on the situation. 

Recognize the warning signs of employee burnout.

Being able to tell how an employee is truly feeling can be hard. Lapses in the quality of their work, increased irritability with other employees (or worse, clients), late or missed deadlines, changes in normal routine or schedule and lack of care for personal appearance are all sign that an employee is burnt out. Be on the lookout for these during the holiday season. 

Give a slight break. 

This does not mean give an employee a paid week off. More so, if a specific worker is constantly coming in super early and staying super late, tell them to sleep in an extra hour. Or, surprise them with a single paid day off. Giving staff assignments that are not necessarily part of their typical job duties can also be a great way to ease the stress and distract them a bit. 

Let your employees know it’s okay to sign off. 

This is especially important to employees who work remotely and from home. They may be working well into the night to finish those pre-holiday projects. For this reason, it is important to remind staff that breaks from work are needed and encouraged. Not checking work emails on weekends is NOT against the law. 

Have an Open Door.

It can be difficult to gauge just how busy your team members actually are or how they are feeling. That’s why it’s a great idea to have an open-door policy where employees know they’re always welcome to voice their concerns to management-regardless of the issue. Identifying concerns before they become full blown problems is a major step in preventing employee burnout. 

A multitude of events can lead to employee burnout. This is especially true during the holidays when it’s been a long 12 months of working. Not to fear though, these suggestions will help your company deal with employee burnout and prevent it in the long-run.