How to Protect Your Staff from Burnout

The term “burnout” brings to mind the image of a flame slowly losing its brightness, growing smaller until there’s only smoke where fire used to be. There is a flame that lives inside all of us, it motivates and inspires us to work for what we want in life. Like a flame, elements put stress upon it and eventually put it out. Employees experience burnout when the stress of the job combines with personal issues and causes an overall dissatisfaction with the current situation. This can result in something as little as an argument or drastic as an abrupt resignation.

If you would like to keep that inner flame in your employees alive and bright, your leadership team should keep these tips in mind.

Employee Recognition

Your employees need recognition, they need to feel as if they are a valued member of your practice. Employees who feel disconnected do just that, they disconnect. You will begin to see signs of this in the way they speak to fellow staff or patients, and a sense of frustration and tension will always be evident. Establish regular employee recognition initiatives and awards, this will encourage friendly competition among your staff and motivate them to stay onboard.

Recognition does not by any means have to be formal, it can be as simple as saying “good job” spontaneously to your employees. This goes a long way with people, especially when they aren’t expecting it.

Build a Better Break Room

Your break room should be a place where staff can wind down, eat, and prepare for the next half of their shift. Give employees options when it comes to snacks and refreshments, offering alternatives to the cafeteria.

You can also bring food into work as an act of appreciation – no one turns down free cake. No one normal, at least.

Provide More Time Off

Many a relationship has benefited from both parties agreeing on a break, only becoming stronger in the end. The same can also be said of professional relationships; when employees get the room to breathe, they are able to look at their employment situation from an objective standpoint.

In the end they may think, “it’s not so bad,” and come back to work with a positive and relaxed energy.


Open lines of communication to ensure that there is nothing being withheld from you or your staff. If your employees are feeling burnt out, they should be able to talk to you about it. Let your staff know that you care about their well-being and want to be notified if they ever feel overwhelmed.

This is the easiest and first thing you should do if you suspect members of your staff are on the verge of burnout. Preemptively speaking to an employee about how they’re feeling can be the difference between developing staff who simply deal with their job and those who love their job.