The word burnout is bandied about quite often in IT and tech circles, but are your employees really burned out? “Burnout” is more than just the Monday Blues. It is actually a state of exhaustion, ineffectiveness and reduced personal fulfillment that comes from chronic emotional stress in the workplace. Research shows burned-out employees are disengaged and unproductive employees and symptoms of burnout can be contagious, which means one or two burned-out employees can quickly become an entire team of burned-out employees.
Identifying Signs of Burnout in Your IT Team
Burnout manifests itself in several ways. Below are some common signs of burnout to watch for:
- Absenteeism. If you notice a spike in sick days, late arrivals and unscheduled absences, it’s time to pay attention.
- Conflict. A team that is suddenly at one another’s throats probably has serious burnout issues brewing.
- Cynicism. Stressed out and overwhelmed people tend to be a bit cynical or even disgruntled on the job.
- Inefficacy and apathy. A sudden decrease in personal achievement is a major warning sign an employee has simply given up.
The Impact of Burnout on Productivity
When you study the symptoms of burnout, it’s easy to see how productivity could be impacted, but let’s examine the direct and indirect costs of burnout:
- Decreased output. Exhaustion, stress and apathy are a drag on workflow, leading to missed deadlines or an unacceptably slow pace of progress.
- Lower-quality work. Stressed-out people are less likely to stay focused on details and tend to turn in work with errors.
- Wasted time. Burned-out employees can often be found surfing the internet, taking long lunches and socializing with co-workers.
- Poor attitude. Cynical people are more likely to complain, be disagreeable and generally negative.
- Disorganization. People experiencing extreme emotional stress tend to become more disorganized and struggle to effectively manage time. When other people depend on that person’s work, it has a ripple effect on the entire team’s efficiency.
- High turnover. Burnout can lead to a revolving door in your IT department.
Preventing Burnout on Your IT Team
Burnout can be caused by any number of factors, but the biggest contributor is often a lack of work-life balance. Tech professionals work long hours, spend many of their weekends on call and often feel like they don’t have the time or the space to “unplug.” However, helping employees achieve better work-life balance isn’t always simple.
One practical way to help your tech team unplug and recharge their batteries to utilize IT consultants. These subject matter experts can be brought in on a short-term basis to help keep projects moving on time without increasing the workload on your existing team, manage workflow during busy seasons, fill the gaps when an employee exits the company until a permanent replacement can be found and help you access specific mission-critical skills.
PEAK Technical Consulting is a leading provider of IT and technical talent, offering contract staffing, contract-to-hire and direct hire solutions throughout the United States. With nearly fifty years of technical recruiting experience, we are committed to delivering real value to our clients by providing the resources, support and solutions they need to succeed.
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- Senior Software Developer
- Software Engineer – C++/Java
- Sr. ASP .Net Software Engineer
If you are looking for skilled, experienced IT professionals to help your business grow and prosper, contact the IT recruiting experts at PEAK Technical Staffing today.