Devan Moonsamy 

As the world starts to get back to a co-existing life with Covid-19, more and more employees are heading back to the office. Working from the home was normalised after staff and management were forced to work from home for the past few years due to the challenges experienced with covid-19, but now that South Africa is easing down on the restrictions placed due to Covid-19, more people are getting back to the office.

As much as the circumstances around the virus have accommodated change it seems like things are slowly getting back to normal. However, heading back to the office might also reignite the burn out complex that employees previously experienced. This means with wanting to get back to a work routine and trying to shake off the work from home routine, this might leave an employee feeling displaced. 

Burn out is common in the work place for employees who are constantly trying to meet deadlines and expectations. This can also put pressure on people juggling more than they can work with at the office. It causes stress and frustration. It can also eventually lead to burn out and potentially illness. 

Managers need to play a proactive role in preventing burnout. Employees might not be able to admit when they need help. It is for this reason that managers should be ahead of the flock and identify staff who are on the verge of burnout. 

Burnout leaves employees feeling drained, exhausted and overwhelmed. The inability to complete work tasks can be the reason why staff might feel discouraged at work. It could also be a major problem for managers as the burn out can impact the most staff members that they are most dependent on. 

We should not assume that if an employee doesn’t highlight that they are feeling the pressure that there isn’t any. As management it is important to stay ahead of these things and try to focus on possible solutions to help employees cope. 

Here’s how to identify and help staff members cope with burn out

  • The first step would be to monitor employee progress by keeping track of staff abilities to meet deadlines. If you find that your team member is regularly missing a deadline or they are under pressure and just about making the deadline, then it could be time to have a conversation with them. It would help to find out what is the contributing factor to their delay and how resources can be better used to assist set employee. 
  • Time management plays a huge role in establishing whether an employee is heading towards burnout. It is essential that as management we monitor any behaviour that indicates an employee is lagging behind. This means keeping track off their progress and following up with them to determine why they are falling behind. This plays a great role in helping with time management and it will prevent burnout. 
  • Managers should advocate for skills development and learning. This will ensure that staff don’t feel that they are only there to do a job. This can help staff that might be leaning towards burnout. Taking an interest in employee development will help to deal with issues of burn out. Staff can focus attention on their own development and work around time management more efficiently. 
  • It would also be great for managers to host a weekly catch up session with staff to have a feel of where staff is at. Perhaps look at 2 weekly meetings. One to catch up on deadlines and other important business points and the other to just check in with staff. Call that meeting a wellness meeting. This meeting doesn’t even have to be called a meeting. It can be a session to just check in and have a feel of how everyone is doing. Maybe an employee lost a loved one or they found out devastating news about their partner, whatever the case this session can be one to touch base and remind them that they are valued and you care. 

Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African TVET College. He is the author of Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us, AND My Leadership Legacy Journal available from the ICHAF Training Institute. 

The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.

Tel: 011 262 2461 | 083 303 9159 |

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