Help Your Burned Out Employee


By Shawnee Love

If you recognized the signs of burnout in one of your employees, you are in the right place. Today we are going to discuss what you can do to help an employee experiencing burnout at work.

Identify the root causes
Once you know the cause, you can build a plan to fix it.  For example:

  • If the burnout is due to a lack of control or poor fit with the job, the solution may be tweaks (or an overhaul) to the job.
  • If burnout is due to a never ending and overwhelming volume of work, hiring a second person might help.
  • If your workplace culture is distressing to the employee, then figuring out how to correct the culture issues should help.

Take action
If you correctly identified the cause(s), then you can build the organizational strategies to resolve the problem.  The right solution will depend on the employees involved, your current business needs and resources, and the size and scope of the problem.  Most importantly, you must follow through on your plan to solve the issue.

Organizational strategies are only part of the solution though.  The employee has a role to play in overcoming burnout as well and must work on self care to fully recover.  You can support your employee by offering breaks, reduced work hours, and/or time off depending on what his medical practitioner recommends.

Follow up
Revisiting and/ or debriefing the solution will enable you to refine where necessary and also shows your burned out employee that you care.  Their team members will appreciate knowing you care as well, so don’t stint on the follow up.

What strategies have you used to reduce or prevent employee burnout?

Shawnee Love is speaking at the HR Conference + Tradeshow 2018. Her session, Before Burnout: Self-care Strategies to Keep You at the Top of Your Game, is on Wednesday, May 2. For more information on this and other sessions, please visit

Shawnee founded LoveHR in 2009 and has since worked with 140+ diverse clients including family businesses, first nations, not for profit, and for profit organizations. Prior to founding LoveHR, Shawnee worked in entrepreneurial organizations delivering creative and practical HR solutions. For more information, visit

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