Source: Fast Company

In an article for Fast Company, Maureen Hoersten explains that like long-distance runners training for a marathon, employees can’t perform at the top of their ability day-in and day-out without eventually getting burnt out. To manage, and even prevent, burnout, Hoersten suggests managers apply the following tactics:

  1. Broach the subject. Hoersten writes that top performing employees often won’t ask for help even if they are feeling run down and burnt out and that it is the manager’s responsibility to recognize when this is happening in employees and start the conversation themselves. The best tactic to take in these conversations is to address the changes you’ve seen in the employee — less excitement, not contributing solutions as often, not participating in company social gatherings — and ask why the employee thinks these changes have occurred. If the employee is hesitant to open up, Hoersten suggests asking another employee to try talking to the burnt out employee, as they may be more willing to share what is bogging them down with a peer.
  2. Change up their assignments. Once an employee admits they are feeling burnt out, Hoersten writes that managers should try giving the employee special projects, like a philanthropic committee, leading group meetings or researching professional development opportunities, to give them a break from the project that is fatiguing them and help reengage the employee.
  3. Shoot the breeze. Hoersten recommends giving the employee small breaks to relax and decompress. Try a short walk or coffee break.
  4. Get Competitive. Lastly, Hoersten writes that adding new employees to the team can help up a burnt out employee’s game and reinvigorate them to be a top performer again. If your company is unable to hire a new employee, Hoersten suggests offering other rewards or incentives that can help motivate the employee.