The term “the professional burnout” has been attracting more and more serious attention for the past few years. It seems, not so long ago the employer could interpret the employee’s statement about being “burned out” as laziness, infantility and reluctance to make an effort and take the responsibility for their own professional development and the growth of the company. Nowadays, even if the employer finds it hard to take such a complaint seriously, the employee can turn to a doctor or even a lawyer and claim their right to rest and recovery. Psychologists, coaches and doctors discuss the professional burnout phenomena a lot and professionals look for signs of emotional and professional exhaustion in themselves and, as a rule, find them. Though none of us is immune from the burnout, specialists believe that if noticed in the early stage, the burnout is quite a reversible process. The main point is common efforts of the employer and the employee. The burnout usually begins with the decline of motivation and the common physical and mental exhaustion.
According to research, the first signs of problems with motivation are the employee’s boredom and absent-mindedness which are followed by problems with building the balance between work and private life and stagnating career development. British managers have discovered recently that their employees spend at least 5.3 hours a week in the state of boredom in the office.This number is even higher in large companies: 6.4 hours on average. Except for boredom, the ineffective organization of work and the employer’s time can affect the problems with involvement. A manager spending most of the day on unnecessary meetings starts losing interest in work quickly. An unmotivated employee is easy to recognize in the staff. They rarely achieve professional goals, don't show high results and don’t care much about it. You can’t expect initiative from them, they do everything to avoid new duties or responsibility. Such an employee spends half of the workday on the lunch breaks, smoke breaks, just another coffee break and falls ill much more often than anyone else. No surprise, because they really cannot be in the office. They often get furious because of trifles, they are irritable and tend to argue instead of trying to solve the problem.
All of the above mentioned doesn’t mean that the employee is lost to the company or doesn’t want to “get better”. Very often the employee is not happy with their state, but doesn’t know what to do. Offer them your assistance in solving the problem. Pay rise is not always the best solution for the employee who lost their motivation. Research shows that the motivation of the employee who got new, more interesting and important tasks can increase quickly. Try to define the career plans together with the employee. What direction do they want to move in? What skills will help them? How can they improve or get these skills? Try to include training in their work plan. Set achievable goals together, define real terms to achieve them. Meet again in the arranged time and assess the employee’s progress. Every person in the company regardless of their post wants to feel that they are advancing and the manager notices their success! Try to be more flexible. Give more freedom to the employee in their work schedule or choosing tasks. Check how the employee uses this freedom. There are great chances that they will cheer up and their results will be higher. Note successes and reward them. Sometimes a small bonus can boost the employee’s motivation. It is so important to feel effective and important! Finally, don’t miss the professional burnout of the employee on a serious stage. In this case, bonuses and plans won’t help, the employee will have to turn to specialists and you will “lose” them for a long time. Simple rest “hygiene” is the basis of the “professional health”. Regular vacations, full days off, free evenings and real lunch breaks are a guarantee that your employee will enjoy their work. If you see that one of the employees is over-enthusiastic, be the person to appeal to their reason.