By Gina Fleming, MCIPD, Associate HR Consultant & Group HR Business Partner  
It is no surprise that by August 2020 we are hearing more from our clients that people are feeling burnt out.  
Not only are people dealing with the pressures of work; on top of that they have the anxieties and concerns of Covid-19 has brought on - financial, caring, homeschooling, and just dealing with day to day routines which have been turned inside out.  
But how do you recognise burnout?  
Or more importantly, how do you recognise the symptoms before you or someone in your team gets to that point? 
They say if you do something you love you’ll never work a day in your life. I know I bring passion to my job and many of us do. This in turn can result in putting more time, effort and ‘our all’ into what we do, therefore it’s likely that we burn out quicker. 
I know from my experience of working in hospitality and the late-night sector how it happens. You start to answer those late night phone calls. The business operates throughout the night; you start to feel guilty and obligated to answer those emails or phone calls. Where something as simple as scheduling and time management could ensure that you are available to support at the necessary times for the operation. 
By doing those extra hours, answering those calls or emails whilst in bed or watching tv may seem trivial in the scheme of things; however it gradually mounts up over time and bites into the precious downtime we need to rest and reset. There is a balance that we need to find and ensure our team does as well. 
What you as a manager or business owner can cope with does not automatically mean everyone can do the same. We have all fallen into this trap of making an assumption. The challenge is that everyone is different! People have different levels of workload that they can cope with. 
Communication is key to understanding your team; what is their coping level?  
Do they have anything going on outside of work?  
Personal circumstances impact their work and will add to their mental workload. Understand the tasks or projects each of your team are working on. Get to know their workloads as this will help you to distribute the work equitably between your team, providing the necessary support. This will in turn build trust and openness for your team to approach you with any concerns. This a good preventative step to burnout. 
And don’t forget to think of yourself... what are your coping levels? How many hours are you working extra?  
Maybe turn off those email notifications in an evening! Business Owners and their Managers tend to take on more work, do longer hours ; as again there is this assumption that they should “because they’re a manager”. But you are also human and just like everyone else need to recognise the time to stop, rest and reset. 
We know the consequences of burnout result in absence, resignations and effects on mental health. The cost of burnout outweighs the time you take to understand your team, be proactive in an attempt to prevent it. 
People are complicated, HR doesn't have to be.  
Humber HR People are trusted partners to over 30 Humber based business owners and their managers.  
We provide practical, outsourced HR Consultancy services that supports business owners to achieve their goals.  
Why not come along to our complimentary Autumn 2020 taster events - email for details to 
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