Burnout within a work team is far worse than the individual employee getting burned out. A team suffering from burnout can be dangerous for the team and the organization they work for. Recognizing this and understanding what it means for your organization is essential. 

When a team is experiencing burnout, the stress that results from their workload is exceptionally intense and can lead to physical health issues and burnout within the group. For example, when a team member has an increased stress level, it’s more likely they will suffer from symptoms of depression and anxiety. In addition to the psychological toll that burnout takes on a person, the stress can also affect other employees within their team as well – as it increases friction between coworkers and decreases productivity. 

Taking Action

As with any other job, one of your many duties as an employer is to help your team members identify and prevent burnout. Burnout manifests differently in different people, so it’s essential to understand that while the causes of burnout are primarily universal, the signs will vary from one individual to the next. Therefore, the best way for you to protect your team and get ahead of potential problems is to regularly check in with them about how they’re feeling – both emotionally and physically. If you notice that a team member is becoming increasingly stressed, overworked, or frustrated, you should take steps to address the problem before it becomes too much for the employee to handle on their own. 

Addressing burnout in a team member can be tricky and delicate, but with the right approach, your team member will respond positively to your efforts and be grateful for your support. If a team member feels burned out, they might think they’re alone in their frustrations or that no one cares about how hard they’re working. If you can approach the situation with empathy and care, your support will be met with relief and appreciation. 

To help a team member identify burnout, you need first to understand what burnout is. Three contributing factors to burnout are emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. The symptoms of burnout include a loss or decrease in personal enjoyment, sustained resentment towards an organization, and increased cynicism and apathy. 

In addition to these three specific factors, it’s also essential that you understand your team member’s personalities and individual circumstances. For example, some people might feel overworked without pursuing burnout because they’re not spending enough time with friends or family. Others might be burned out because they don’t feel appreciated at work. To identify the causes of your team member’s burnout, you’ll need to have a series of conversations with them – to understand what their specific needs are and what it is that they’re feeling. 

Once you’ve identified the main symptoms of burnout in your team member, it’s time to determine the causes. Several possibilities may have led your employee to experience burnout, and each case will differ depending on the person. Some people might feel burned out because they don’t get along with their employers. Others might feel that their workload is too much to handle. Whatever the cause, you’ll need to communicate with your team member in a way that respects their feelings and acknowledges their reality. 

If your team member feels like they’re being overwhelmed with work, you must hear them out and offer support. Be supportive and listen to their feelings and concerns, even if you disagree with them. The most important thing is for them to know you’re concerned about their well-being. If your team member feels like they’re not appreciated or respected at work, it’s also important that you hear them. Don’t minimize their frustrations or insist that everything is OK when they say things are not OK. Again, be supportive and respectful, but also remember that you are not responsible for solving all of your team’s problems. 

Finally, after you’ve been able to talk things out with your employee, remember to follow up with them. Whether that means checking in on them a couple of days later or scheduling regular sessions every other week or month, if you commit to staying in touch, your team member will feel like they can trust you and will know that they can come back to you if they ever need help again. 

Emotional Vs. Physical Burnout 

There are two types of burnout that you need to be concerned about two types of burnout: emotional and physical. Emotional burnout is the general feeling that your team member is overwhelmed or frustrated with their work. On the other hand, physical burnout is a supersaturation symptom that can affect your team member’s physical health. If a team member feels like they can’t handle their workload or cannot perform at their usual level because they’re too tired, they might be experiencing either or both of these types of burnout. 

To help a team member manage their emotional burnout, you must pay attention to their feelings. If they’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it’s not enough for you to just check in – even taking a short break can do wonders for your team member’s well-being. Your employee might also benefit from some physical activity or time spent doing something enjoyable that is not work-related. If a team member feels like they’re experiencing physical burnout, you’ll need to address the issue with them immediately. 

If the physical symptoms of your team member are becoming severe, or if they’re unable to function at their usual output level because of stress or exhaustion, it’s essential that you contact your employee’s doctor. Even if your employee denies that there is anything wrong with them, it’s best to be cautious and follow up on whatever concerns your employee has expressed. If your employee is experiencing physical burnout, you’ll need to accommodate the symptoms that they’re having. 


  • Dr. Tomi Mitchell

    M.D | Leadership Coach| Wellness & Productivity Coach

    Dr. Tomi Mitchell Holistic Wellness Strategies

    Dr. Tomi Mitchell, MD, empowers executives, lawyers, doctors, business owners, and other leaders to eliminate burnout and increase workplace productivity and relationships.  She uses her three-step framework, Embrace, Evaluate & Energize, to empower her clients to have clarity. 

    As a public speaker and trainer, she brings energy to the crowd, captures their attention, and gives them clear, actionable steps to apply immediately to their life. Dr. Tomi Mitchell believes in getting to the root causes of life's challenges, instead of taking a temporary BandAid approach to life. She is a writer, with a book coming out in Summer 2023. She is also the host of The Mental Health & Wellness Show.  To learn more about her framework, check out the following link: Learn More.