IT burnout: 7 ways to spot and help overwhelmed staff

When workloads go over the top, employee performance can sink. Identifying and supporting beleaguered staffers can help you boost productivity and stem turnover.

7 ways to spot and help overwhelmed IT staffers

The warning light is flashing brightly and rapidly. A team member who has always completed tasks flawlessly and on time is now consistently falling behind on work. Even more troubling is the fact that the staffer appears to be oblivious to the problem.

While there are many reasons why a once reliable employee may suddenly begin working less effectively — such as illness or personal issues — the cause is often more straightforward and usually easier to resolve: a crushing workload.

Staff burnout is a problem that can afflict workforces of all types and sizes. A 2017 survey conducted by workplace tools and services provider Kronos revealed that 46 percent of HR leaders believe that employee burnout is responsible for up to half their annual workforce turnover. IT is no exception. "If IT continues to work in an overwhelmed state, it’s inevitable that [staffers] will burn out and eventually quit," warns Adrian Moir, senior consultant and lead technology evangelist at Quest Software, an IT management software provider. "When IT has a proper work-life balance, [staffers] are more likely to stay with a company and produce higher quality work."

With IT leaders facing a burnout plight that has every chance of becoming an epidemic, it's important to nip the challenge of overwhelming workloads in the bud. Here are seven expert tips to help you understand the problem and help affected staff members get back on track.

1. Understand the problem

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