3 Types of Work Burnout and How to Help your Employees Overcome them

Although work burnout looks different depending on the employee, psychologists and professionals in behavioral science have seen trends in the “dedication with which individuals cope with work-related tasks” and the type of burnout they face.  

There are three main types of burnout that people may face at work including Frenetic Burnout, Under Challenged Burnout and Worn-out Burnout. Below is what they look like and how to support employees facing each.

Frenetic Burnout:

This employee continues working frantically, jeopardizing their own wellbeing and prioritizing work demands even when they are overloaded or exhausted.  

To support someone facing this kind of burnout, managers and people experience teams should be conscious of their behaviour and embed capacity indicators into their workflows and task management. This employee is likely never going to say no to a challenge or task so it is important to be aware of how much they have on their plate and delegate to other team members to they don’t end up burning out. One way of doing this is checking-in frequently to see how their wellbeing is and making judgements on workload accordingly (try mello’s wellbeing check-in for free)  

Under-challenged Burnout:

Employees facing this subtype of burnout are generally lacking learning and development opportunities and feel unstimulated by their workplace environments. Because of this, they tend to build distance from work or are disengaged from their workplaces.  

Supporting this type of employee means creating a strategy, and bring in new tools, for the learning and development of your team. This is a benefit to both the employee who is looking for a challenge, as well as the employer who is looking to improve their teams performance/skills. Creating leadership opportunities and room for growth for these employees can also help them overcome feeling unstimulated or underchallenged. It is important to remember that because these employees are reaching a point of burnout, they may not seek out these opportunities themselves. Using nudges to point them towards opportunities on channels they frequently monitor (I.e. slack, teams, etc.) can help direct them to your new programs. (try mello’s slack integrated nudges)

Worn-Out Burnout:

Feeling a lack of motivation or being passive may be indicators that an employee is facing this subtype of burnout. It is associated with “neglect” or being avoidant of difficulty due to exhaustion.

At this point an employee is completely exhausted and needs an outlet to recuperate. To do so many organizations try to offer flexible time off. Another strategy is offering flexible “volunteer time off’ so employees can spend time volunteering for a cause they are passionate about and helping your organization work towards its CSR goals.  

Regardless of the type of burnout they face it is important to have a variety of support systems in place for your team. If you’re interested in learning more about wellbeing solutions we are happy to chat, get in touch with our team!

Dia Rahman
October 22, 2021
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