How to Recognize and Avoid Burnout in Your Staff

ThinkstockPhotos-160611067We often hear about burnout in the nurses, therapists and aides we place on short-term assignments. Healthcare providers in particular suffer from higher rates of burnout due to many factors including long shifts, high-stress environments, or not addressing one’s own needs.

With known burnout in the field, we often overlook the possibility that the recruiters in high-stress sales roles who work with these healthcare professionals could suffer burnout as well. Sales roles tend to have a high turnover, but when we lose our best recruiters to burnout it takes its toll on both our business and our healthcare consultants. Here are a few ways to spot burnout in your salespeople and what you can do to prevent it.

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Exhaustion and tiredness

Maybe an employee worked extra late, has a side job or stayed up late with a sick child and is noticeably tired the next day. As long as it doesn’t become a problem, we chalk it up to life happenings — until that tiredness becomes a pattern of exhaustion. This, combined with lack of motivation and negative attitude at work can be signs of burnout.

Lack of motivation

Most staffing companies have goals for their recruiters — a set number of calls, temps on assignment or other metrics each recruiter should meet. While some salespeople will always be more motivated than others to exceed their numbers, the goals we set for employees can also be helpful in monitoring motivation. A sudden dip in motivation from an employee who consistently over-performed in the past? Time to check in with that employee.

Negative comments or frustration

While employees will experience some negative emotions from time to time, it’s important to recognize when it becomes unusual or persistent for employees. Some employees won’t be overtly negative though. Best workplace and satisfaction surveys can be great ways to gain insight. The results often come with a price tag but when it comes to workplace insight it’s worth the investment twofold.

Recognizing burnout is essential to happy recruiters and a dynamic workplace. Here are just a few ways to prevent burnout before it occurs.

Surround sales pit in motivation

Positive attitude can be contagious but it can’t be forced. Some highly motivated employees won’t show it with the veraciously for which they experience it. Creating a positive sales environment where employees are allowed to express their ambition is key. One of our offices stretches as a group to both connect as a workplace and to energize — although this might not work for all organizations. Taking just a few minutes to connect and motivate one another is essential in keeping the momentum.

Extra training and continued education

Empowering your employees with more knowledge, tips and guidance can energize and ignite a new enthusiasm in an employee’s same position. Training sessions don’t have to be costly or time consuming — even one hour per month spent on new technologies and techniques can do wonders for morale. Upper management doesn’t have to lead education seminars; get to know your employees strengths in different areas and you’ll probably be surprised what they can teach your team.

Lateral moves or differentiated tasks

Burnout can also crop up from from repetitious tasks. Enabling your employees to move laterally within their department or take on new tasks can prevent burnout as they learn new tasks and help the company grow. In staffing, than mean allowing recruiters to branch out into new specialities. Differentiating tasks may require training but the outcome will be employees who take ownership over their role and are happier in the workplace.

MORE: What Employees Want: Better Communication in the Workplace

Jennifer Fuicelli

Jennifer Fuicelli
Jennifer Fuicelli is CEO of Advanced Inc., a travel staffing company for nurses and therapists founded in 1989.

Jennifer Fuicelli

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