Burnout is a severe problem for any business, causing disengagement, lost productivity, and even talent turnover. More than just a feeling of general fatigue, burnout refers to a state of chronic stress and exhaustion which can be overwhelming for staff.
Around 1 in 6 financial professionals now say they feel as though they can’t continue in the sector due to increased pressure, and 23% say they’re worried about their mental or physical health. Since the pandemic, the issue has only grown more profound. With issues like confusing work/life balance making it harder for team members to switch off.
As business leaders continue to struggle with finding and retaining financial talent in the age of the Great Resignation, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the signs of burnout. Here are some of the red flags which indicate your employees are struggling, and what you can do to help.
1. Reduced Productivity and Efficiency
Burnout is often characterised by a state of constant mental and physical exhaustion. Professionals have trouble concentrating, suffer from forgetfulness, and frequently make more mistakes when they’re overwhelmed by burnout.
In one Deloitte study, 91% of employees said their experience with burnout had negatively impacted the quality of their work. For financial superstars to perform at their best, they need to feel mentally and physically robust. If your employees are suddenly struggling to deliver reports according to deadlines, or their work is littered with errors, this is a sign something is wrong.
Rather than punishing your staff for poor work, try and get to the bottom of their productivity issues. You may find employees moving into hybrid and remote work are struggling with learning how to use new financial tools and perform at the same pace as they once did. This could mean you need to reduce workloads until the transition is complete.
2. Exhaustion and Overworking
As mentioned above, one of the most common symptoms of burnout is exhaustion. Employees commonly complain of feeling tired, or struggling to keep up with their schedule. You might notice some of your team members are late to work, or they barely meet with deadlines.
Your financial experts may even push themselves to work longer hours than normal, particularly if they’re operating remotely without a strict schedule. While this might seem like a good way to keep productivity levels high at first, it can contribute to higher levels of burnout in your team.
There are many visible and invisible signs of fatigue to keep track of. Employees slumping in their seats at the office or relying heavily on caffeine are clearly struggling with tiredness. In remote workers, you may see exhaustion in people struggling to maintain a consistent schedule. Work with your staff to help them find a way to reduce tiredness.
3. Disengagement or Disinterest
When you first hired your financial experts, they were likely passionate about their role, and excited to move forward in the next stage of their career path. If this passion and general interest in finance is beginning to wane among your team members, this could be a sign of burnout.
Pay attention to how your employees feel about their role, and how they engage with their day-to-day tasks. They may start to procrastinate more often, or fail to put as much effort into their work. You may notice your employees stop talking about goals, or don’t have a clear vision for their future when talking to supervisors or managers.
If the passion is beginning to disappear in your team members, speak to your employees about why they’re no longer interested in their role. It may be that they’re not doing the tasks they thought they would be doing as often as they believed. Alternatively, your employees may simply have too much work on their plate to remain focused.
4. Isolation and Introversion
When team members begin to disconnect from their jobs and workplace, it can also impact their relationships with other members of staff. It’s common to see burned out employees neglecting their workplace relationships and spending more time by themselves. They may choose to work from home more often, and fail to return calls and emails.
Sometimes, a quiet team member is simply focused on the task at hand. However, if you notice your employees are consistently moving away from their colleagues, this could be a problem. Creating a unified and diverse community of employees is crucial to your employer brand.
If your staff members aren’t attending meetings or getting involved with team-building exercises, reach out and find out why they’re isolating themselves.
5. Illness and Absenteeism
Many companies assume burnout is a condition mainly identified by mental health symptoms. However, feelings of extreme stress and exhaustion can also manifest in a physical way. You might notice your employees begin to suffer from illnesses more often, or take more time away from work for common ailments.
Even if your staff aren’t absent from work, you could hear them talking about suffering from more aches and pains, headaches, or sickness. Team members can even lose or gain weight as a result of excessive anxiety and stress.
To reduce the risk of sickness and absent employees, consider implementing wellness initiatives to help guide your team members towards better wellbeing. You can also offer support to employees who might be struggling with their health, such as allowing them time off to recover, or allowing some of your financial staff to try a four-day work week.
6. Attitude Changes
Finally, when building your financial talent pipeline, there’s a good chance you’ll be looking for people with the right personality and attitude to join your team. Your recruitment professionals can help you discover candidates with the values and characteristics which resonate with your company.
However, if burnout sets in among your team members, you might find their attitudes begin to change. Your employees might start responding more emotionally or negatively to reasonable feedback from supervisors and managers.
They might actively complain about their job or their clients they work with, start arguments with other team members, or become more combative when spoken to. If the attitude of your staff starts to change, have a one-on-one meeting with your professional to find out what’s going wrong.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from various organisations, including SMEs, to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.