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A ReliaStar Life Insurance Company survey reported that 4 out of every 10 employees suffer from work stress. While some stress serves as a positive motivator, a constant state of anxiety can create employee burnout. “Employee burnout syndrome” has global impact. So, what are the symptoms of burnout and what can companies do to alleviate this problem?

Increased absenteeism

As absenteeism increases, the operation of the business suffers. Companies can combat this apathy by empowering employees and showing them that their presence makes a difference.

Decreased productivity

When employees lack energy and enthusiasm, their productivity suffers. Managers need to open the lines of communication to ensure that employees are not feeling overwhelmed.

Job inefficiency

Disinterest with routine tasks leads to a lack of concentration, increased errors, and an overall decrease in work quality. Employers can better engage these employees by providing a variety of duties or projects.

Job satisfaction

If employees see no success, they take no pride in their work product. Companies must provide a system of rewards and small perks for completing tasks and projects according to specifications.


A general sense of lethargy makes it almost impossible for an employee to perform at an acceptable level. Managers can assign tasks for which employees have a passion to hopefully energize them.


Employees who express only negative emotions feel that nothing they do will matter. Reminding them of their role in the company’s achievements can reverse these emotions.

Social withdrawal

A distant employee is an unproductive one. Employers can create opportunities for socialization with group lunches and team projects.

Employee conflict

Conflicts create a dysfunctional workplace and cannot be tolerated. Managers need to treat all employees equally and recognize and handle disagreements before they escalate.

Self-destructive behavior

Employees who show erratic behavior or who work under the influence of drugs or alcohol need immediate intervention. Most HR departments offer counseling and other resources to support those who need assistance.

Job/social life imbalance

It may seem that this extends beyond an employer’s responsibility. However, wellness and exercise programs have proven to benefit the business and their employees.


The bottom line is that employers need to be vigilant and communicate with employees on a regular basis. When managers are flexible and can provide adequate resources, employees are more likely to remain engaged and successful.

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