What Would Shawn Do? Dealing with Employee Burnout


Our clinic has gone through some tough times, first dealing with a bad economy and then suffering through growing pains. One employee has been with us through these hard times and has contributed to our success. But now this person is slacking and showing up late, and seems resentful of our enthusiastic new hires. It seems like a case of burnout. How can I help this employee get back on the bus?


Congrats on surviving and thriving! There are many stressors that can contribute to an employee’s burnout, but the factors that typically cause the most problems are organizational culture, opportunity for growth, and fairness.

Culture: You’ve got to define it and live it. Do you have a written vision statement, values statement, systems, and processes? If not, creating them should be job number one for the leadership team. And once you’ve created them, you must hold yourselves accountable to them. Clearly and routinely communicate your vision and goals to the whole staff so everyone feels like they’re working toward the same purpose.

Growth: You need to consistently delegate and elevate. This means giving different and more responsibilities to staff that are in alignment with their core competencies and concentrating on your own core competencies. Avoid micro-managing, and allow for growth in skills and position.

Fairness: Create a clear rating policy for every employee so that everyone knows what to expect. Take a fresh look at your compensation plan. Is everyone earning a fair rate for the contribution they’re making to the success of the company? Do you have written compensation policies that you have shared with the employees? Written policies fairly applied are key to employee satisfaction.

Finally, your employee may no longer be the right person in the right seat. If you have communicated and consistently followed your vision, processes, and goals, you may need to tell this person to move on.

Good luck!

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