Building Resilience in the Workplace: 3 Ways to Identify Employees Most at Risk for Burnout

Building Resilience in the Workplace: 3 Ways to Identify Employees Most at Risk for Burnout

In the face of long hours, tight deadlines, and heavy workloads, employees are consistently confronted with the challenge of finding work-life balance. Identifying an employee’s capacity for resilience not only helps determine their suitability to the demands of your work environment but also pinpoints who in your workforce is most at risk for burnout.

A recent study by Deloitte reported that 77% of professionals have experienced burnout at their current place of work. Understanding who is at risk and recognizing the signs of burnout in a world where it is highly prevalent is pivotal. This knowledge empowers organizations to proactively prevent declines in productivity, reduce absenteeism, foster a healthy workplace culture, and mitigate the risk of turnover.


What Is Burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion often caused by prolonged periods of high stress and overwhelming work demands. It can lead to feelings of cynicism, detachment, and a sense of ineffectiveness or lack of accomplishment in the workplace.


What Does Burnout Look Like in Employees?

Burnout can present itself differently among employees however, the most common signs are:

  • Absenteeism
  • Decrease in productivity
  • Disengagement 
  • Exhaustion
  • Increase in sensitivity
  • Change in physical traits

To effectively combat burnout within your organization, it’s essential not only to recognize its signs but also to understand who is most at risk. Using employee assessments to gain insights into their personalities, work styles, and values can be instrumental in pinpointing those who are most likely to experience burnout.


Why It’s Important to Protect Your Employees Against Burnout

With the growing number of employees experiencing burnout, protecting their well-being is more important than ever. Statistics reveal that:

  • Burnout employees are six times more likely than those who aren’t to say that they intend to leave their employers in the next three to six months. 
  • 42% of all respondents in a recent study by Deloitte left a job specifically because they felt burned out.
  • 91% of employees say having an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration negatively impacts the quality of their work.
  • Employees experiencing burnout in the US are 63% more likely to take a sick day than happy, engaged employees.


Protecting employees from burnout is not only a moral imperative, but it’s also a strategic business decision. It enhances productivity, improves retention rates, and contributes to a positive company culture, ultimately leading to a more prosperous and sustainable organization.


3 Ways to Identify Most at Risk Employees for Burnout

1. Understand Employee Personalities and on-the-Job Behaviors

Using behavioral assessments such as TalentClick’s Attitude-Values-Personality (AVP), Workstyle and Performance Profile (WPP), and Work Values and Attitude (WVA) assessments can provide valuable insights into employees’ personalities and capacity for resilience. This information empowers leaders to not only identify signs of burnout but also understand the underlying actions that may contribute to it.

For example, employees assessed as ‘Reserved’ may prefer to work independently, and may not openly voice ideas and opinions by nature. Understanding this is important as ‘Reserved’ employees are less likely to tell you when they are stressed or have an unmanageable workload – warning signs of burnout. Or, employees who are assessed as having ‘Low Positivity’ may be easily discouraged making them prone to burnout if work is piling up and not going in their favour over a long period of time.


2. Watch for Behavioral Changes When Workload and Demand Changes

Identifying burnout requires a keen awareness of behavioral shifts, particularly when workload and demands fluctuate. Keep a close eye on employees (particularly at-risk employees) for any noticeable changes in their demeanor, work habits, and interactions. If previously performing employees begin to show signs of absenteeism, decrease in productivity, disengagement, or exhaustion, there is a chance they are at risk for burnout. 

Watch specifically for signs of increased irritability and sensitivity to feedback, withdrawal from team activities, or a decline in overall enthusiasm for their tasks. Burnt-out employees may exhibit decreased attention to detail, leading to more errors or missed deadlines. Additionally, pay attention to physical manifestations of stress, such as increased signs of fatigue.


3. Perform Frequent Personalized Check-Ins 

Tailored personalized check-ins are one of the easiest ways to identify employees at risk for burnout. They help employers see behavioral and physical changes up close and build trust and rapport, allowing for open and honest communication. Scheduling personalized check-ins also holds leaders and employees accountable to be constantly monitoring for burnout. Review manager tips in TalentClick Behavioral Reports to help guide these check-ins, so you can personalize each interaction.  


Get Ahead of Employee Burnout 

Safeguarding employee well-being is paramount. A report by Gallup and Workhuman discovered turnover and lost productivity due to employee burnout cost businesses around $322bn globally. By understanding the signs of burnout and identifying those most at risk, organizations can not only prevent these losses but also create a culture of support and resilience. 

Utilizing behavioral assessments is the first step in predicting resilience among employees and identifying employees that are most at risk for burnout. Start building a happier, more engaged, and more productive workforce with Talent Click. Start your 7 day trial today!