The burnout epidemic: Why it’s happening and how to fix it

According to a recent poll by MyPerfectResume, a staggering 88% of workers are feeling burned out. This isn’t just an individual issue – it’s a major problem for businesses, leading to increased absenteeism, conflict, and turnover. But why is burnout so widespread? And what can managers do to combat it?

Top 5 Causes of Burnout

  1. Too Many Meetings:

    • Excessive or poorly organized meetings drain energy and morale.
    • Solutions:
      • Think critically before scheduling a meeting – is it truly necessary?
      • Consider alternative communication methods like emails or quick chats.
      • Stick to agendas and time limits during meetings.
      • Designate “no meeting days” to allow for catch-up and focus.
  2. Too Little Autonomy:

    • Employees crave control over their work to feel empowered and engaged.
    • Solutions:
      • Trust your employees and avoid micromanaging.
      • Focus on results rather than specific methods of work.
      • Offer flexible work arrangements whenever possible.
      • Let employees choose their professional development paths.
  3. Lack of Role Clarity:

    • Uncertainty about expectations breeds anxiety and frustration.
    • Solutions:
      • Provide detailed job descriptions outlining responsibilities.
      • Hold regular one-on-one meetings to clarify priorities and offer feedback.
      • Remind employees of their valuable contributions to the team.
  4. Responsibilities Unrelated to Their Job:

    • Being asked to perform tasks outside of one’s role can lead to resentment.
    • Solutions:
      • Minimize these instances and provide proper training when necessary.
      • Show appreciation for employees who step up to help.
  5. Toxic Work Environment:

    • Negativity, gossip, and incivility create a toxic atmosphere that erodes well-being.
    • Solutions:
      • Address toxic behavior promptly and directly.
      • Foster a psychologically safe environment where everyone feels valued.
      • Encourage team-building activities and positive interactions.
      • Create opportunities for open communication and feedback.

The Impact of Burnout on Businesses

Burnout doesn’t just affect employees; it can cripple a company’s performance:

  • Increased Absenteeism: Employees may take sick leave or stress leave due to burnout.
  • Conflicts and Outbursts: Frustration and exhaustion can lead to negative interactions with colleagues.
  • High Turnover: Burned-out employees are more likely to quit, leading to recruitment and training costs.

3 Tips for Managers to Combat Burnout

  1. Talk to Your Employees:

    • Hold regular one-on-one meetings to assess workloads, discuss concerns, and explore solutions.
    • Ask for feedback on how to improve their work experience.
  2. Openly Discuss Burnout:

    • Organize presentations or workshops on mental health and stress management.
    • Provide resources and information relevant to your industry’s stressors.
    • Dedicate time in staff meetings to discuss signs of burnout and coping strategies.
    • Encourage employees to share their ideas for creating a less stressful workplace.
  3. Support Burnout Prevention Efforts:

    • Ensure employees take breaks, including lunch away from their desks.
    • Incorporate dedicated time for self-care and relaxation into the workday.
    • Respect personal time by avoiding communication outside of work hours.
    • Encourage the use of PTO for rest and rejuvenation.
    • Lead by example and prioritize your own well-being.


Burnout is a serious issue that demands attention. By understanding its causes and implementing effective solutions, managers can create a healthier, more productive work environment for everyone. Remember, a happy and engaged workforce is the foundation of a successful business.