Every manager knows the constant struggle of keeping employees happy, motivated, and productive. Furthermore, they also know how hard it is to jumpstart a burnt out employee. Staff suffering from burnout are far less creative, driven, or productive, because they’re dealing with a frustrating and long-term emotional ailment.

Thankfully, burnt out employees don’t have to stay that way. In fact, they don’t even need to switch jobs or take time off to shake their burnout. A lot of the power to eliminate burnout lies in the hands of the manager.

Use these three strategies to keep your employees from getting burnt out and to revive those who already are.


Give Back Control

While part of a manager’s responsibility is to oversee employees’ work, taking too much control can make for low quality work and aggravated staff. Everyone needs a little control and autonomy in their professional life, even lower level members of your team. Put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll quickly understand.

Make an effort to give each employee some independence. A little bit of extra breathing room can go a long way toward keeping everyone happy and avoiding workplace burnout.

Set Attainable Goals and Reasonable Expectations

There’s a fine line between being ambitious and being unrealistic. Granted, managers should want the best from themselves and their employees, but aiming too high can be a real detriment.

Setting goals for employees that exceed their abilities isn’t effective at motivating or inspiring them. On the contrary, it makes the work feel unattainable, too big to conquer. Consequently, working toward those goals quickly becomes a tiring, discouraging endeavor, one which will eventually lead to severe burnout.

Avoid the pitfalls of overly ambitious goal setting by keeping your expectations realistic and your goals attainable. By making each goal a little easier, employees get to taste victory in their positions a little more often – great for morale and even better for productivity.

Acknowledge Hard Work

Nobody likes being unappreciated. Regardless of working conditions – fun, glamour, pay (or lack thereof) – occupying a thankless position can quickly cause employees to feel burnt out.

A thoughtful “thank you” is one of the cheapest and most effective ways of cultivating positive manager-employee relationships, boosting productivity, and combating burnout. In fact, research has shown that employees who are recognized for their accomplishments tend to have lower levels of burnout. There’s really no excuse not to show some appreciation for the hard work your team puts in every day. Take the time to acknowledge it.

Use these three tips along with your existing management knowledge and expertise to keep your team happy, emotionally healthy, and motivated. The difference they can make might surprise you!

Image credit: Magnus


Carrie is an avid writer, who spends her spare time biking and hiking the Appalachian Mountain trails near her home.

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