The Role of Leaders in Solving the Burnout Crisis

Everyone is concerned about mental health in the workplace these days. While our understanding of mental health at work is evolving, as is the prevalence of poor mental health, it’s worth revisiting the fundamentals. 

Poor mental health can cause employee burnout, limiting their capacity to contribute meaningfully in their personal and professional lives. Mental health issues directly impact businesses and employers through increased absenteeism, a negative impact on profits and productivity, and increased costs to address the issue. They also hurt employee morale. 

Supporting and addressing mental health in the workplace is no longer an option. The first step is to develop wellness solutions employees’ mental health benefits both the company and the employees in all aspects of their lives.

Leaders should do three things to ensure that their employees are not burned out and have their productivity, leaders should do three things. First, they should provide the necessary time for their employees’ mental health. This allows them to take care of themselves without worrying about work. Second, leaders should be trustworthy with their subordinates’ careers because a trusting relationship helps to cut down on feeling like one is unappreciated at work. These two things help to decrease employee burnout, but the third is what stops it. Upper-level management must empower leaders to stop and prevent job burnout. 

Upper-level management should take action to ensure that lower-level management does not enable employee burnout. This may include stricter hiring standards, more training, and a less stressful work environment. All of these things would help a manager stop employee burnout before it happens. 

Upper management may find it challenging to implement these changes because of budget constraints and corporate resistance to change. Managers can do this by starting with the basics, such as helping employees find ways to improve their work-life balas to help their employees thrive. Workplace success can be measured in a variety of ways. First, employees are crucial to achieving these success metrics. 

Workplace stress contributes to an occupational illness, poor productivity, and human error. This means increased sick leave, high staff turnover, poor organizational performance, and an increase in accidents due to human error. Work-related stress can also cause heart disease, back pain, headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, or a variety of minor illnesses, as well as psychological effects like anxiety and depression, loss of concentration, and poor decision-making.  

Stress is the adverse reaction people have in response to excessive pressures or other demands placed on them. There is a distinct difference between pressure, which can be motivating, and stress, which can occur when the pressure becomes excessive. Additionally, managers can encourage employees to form support groups for assistance in coping with job burnout. As a result, the manager becomes a trusted source of help and reassurance for subordinates. 

To prevent burnout, managers should leave the work environment relaxed and calm. They should not try to save time, such as checking personal e-mails at work or constantly being available via cell phone. These tactics make it easier for employees to feel like managers are monitoring them. Another essential technique for managers to prevent employee burnout is to have realistic expectations for their employees. In addition, managers should give clear instructions regarding goals and allow employees the flexibility needed to achieve those goals. This would decrease anxiety and increase job satisfaction, which goes a long way in preventing job burnout. 

Finally, upper-level management can take steps based on individual business needs. For example, upper management may want to implement a less stressful work environment if the company is a startup with very little funding. In this case, it is better to work longer hours at a slower pace than for employees to work shorter hours faster. 

Leaders who want to prevent employee burnout and improve their health need to find ways to make themselves feel more connected with those around them to be influential leaders. To promote an employee-first culture, leaders must understand their organizational roles and how their behavior can affect those working around them. Leaders need to realize that they can cause or prevent stress and burnout in their employees. 


  • 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.