Is Your Operations Team Suffering From Burnout?

Is Your Operations Team Suffering From Burnout?

Posted by Stephen Spiegel on Feb 3, 2022


Knowing how to identify burnout in your employees could save your company from failing to meet its goals and obligations to customers. Fortunately, there are 10 signs you can look out for.

Key Takeaways:

  • Many companies make the mistake of misdiagnosing employee burnout as something benign like tiredness, laziness, or disengagement at the workplace
  • Up until now, burnout has been treated as something the victim has a responsibility to solve rather than an employer’s problem to manage
  • As awareness surrounding burnout continues to grow so too are the effects on company performance, making it imperative for companies to take a more active role in identifying and tackling the issue.

One of the most concerning things about employee burnout is that it is often tragically misdiagnosed as something else by employers. Many companies are still likely to write off an employee suffering from burnout as tired, disengaged, or just plain lazy.

This is one of the strongest reasons why, up until very recently, burnout was viewed by companies as something individual employees were supposed to deal with on their own. The onus was on the employee, rather than the company, to manage burnout when it came up.

Fortunately, the tide is turning, and companies are taking a more active part in identifying and preventing burnout. If you’re wondering why burnout happens in your operations team and how to identify it, we provide answers in this post.

Why does burnout occur in your operations team?

One of the most obvious reasons why burnout occurs in your operations team is that employees work too many hours for too long. Maintaining a work schedule that doesn’t allow for things like adequate rest, family time, and catering to your health usually puts employees on a fast track to burnout.

However, that’s not the only reason for burnout. According to research carried out by Black Dog Institute, burnout could also be the result of external factors like long-term stress and psychologically unsafe work environments.

Another survey carried out by Gallup found that the top 5 reasons why your operations team may be suffering from burnout include:

  • 1. Unmanageable workload
  • 2. Unfair treatment at work
  • 3. Lack of communication and support from company leadership
  • 4. Undue time pressure
  • 5. Lack of clarity about their roles

The above studies show that the reasons your operations team gets burnout do not necessarily lie with the team members. It can also be prevented if company founders and leadership take preemptive measures to create a burnout-resistant work environment.

The economic cost of not taking up the mantle is steep: 23% of employees report suffering from burnout at work all the time while an additional 44% report feeling burned out sometimes.

That means two-thirds of your workforce experiences burnout which could lead to higher levels of absenteeism, lower levels of productivity, and lower levels of profitability.

10 ways to identify burnout in your operations team

In order to identify ops team burnout, you need to understand how burnout manifests itself physically, mentally, and emotionally in the workplace. Here are 10 symptoms you should look out for:

  • 1. Members of the operations team start showing up late: When employees in your operations team start having a hard time showing up on time, taking overly long lunches, or having problems simply starting the workday — especially when they used to be enthusiastic — you may be dealing with ops team burnout.
  • 2. When employees start getting cynical at work: When a member of your operations team starts showing persistent cynicism instead of their usual jovial self, you may be dealing with a case of ops team burnout.
  • 3. When employees in the ops team suddenly lose all energy and enthusiasm: A sudden lack of energy in your employees is a strong sign that burnout is on the horizon if not already present. If something an employee used to be able to do in a short time suddenly starts taking many hours, they may be suffering from burnout.
  • 4. When members of the operations team start finding it hard to concentrate on work: You can suspect you're dealing with ops team burnout if you realize that members of the team are having a hard time concentrating on their work and are being distracted by everything around them, like office gossip.
  • 5. When operations team employees start becoming impatient with one another and others: Ops team burnout will leave members of the operations team snapping at each other for the slightest things. Burnout leaves people with a very short fuse to work with and, without meaning to, employees may just find themselves with little patience to offer anybody.
  • 6. When employees stop finding satisfaction and meaning in their work: Operations team members who are suffering from burnout may cease finding meaning in their work, which makes it hard for them to derive any sort of satisfaction from it at the end of the day.
  • 7. When an employee stops being excited about their work: Ops team burnout is surely on the horizon when you notice team members start losing the joy and enthusiasm they usually had at work.
  • 8. When an employee reports trouble sleeping: When members of your operations team start reporting unexplained changes in their sleeping habits, there’s a chance they may be struggling with burnout.
  • 9. When an employee starts relying on external tools to feel better: Food, booze, and other distractions are all external aids employees might use to cope with burnout at the office. Once you notice a pattern in an employee, know that they may be struggling with burnout.
  • 10. When an employee starts suffering from physical ailments like headaches and stomach problems: These physical symptoms are usually sporadic and come out of nowhere shortly after they step into the office. Once you notice this among members of the operations team, know that ops team burnout may be close.

One or more of these symptoms could signify burnout among your operations team. You want to pay careful attention to ensure that you don’t end up with a crisis on your hands where everybody in the team suffers from burnout and starts producing the sort of output that comes with it.

Learn how to prevent burnout

If you’re worried that some members of your team may be suffering from burnout, or you’re just the sort of company founder who likes to think ahead and proactively find solutions, you can get actionable tips on preventing burnout in our resource guide. Just click the link below!

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