How a manager can prevent burnout or professional exhaustion in their team

Burnout and professional exhaustion are major risks to employees' mental and physical health, as well as the overall performance of the team. As a manager, it is essential to recognize the warning signs of burnout and take preventive measures to avoid your employees reaching this state of exhaustion.

I. What is a burnout?

Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion resulting from chronic work stress. It is characterized by intense fatigue, a feeling of depersonalization, and a decrease in professional accomplishment. Burnouts can occur when employees are subjected to excessive demands, lack of support, an imbalance between work and personal life, as well as a lack of recognition. It is important to understand that burnouts are not an individual weakness, but are often the result of a stressful and unsupportive work environment.

II. Warning signs of burnout

As a manager, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs of burnout in your employees. Some indicators can include a decrease in motivation and engagement, a decrease in performance, increased irritability, concentration problems, sleep disorders, and social isolation. Employees may also express feelings of frustration, cynicism, or disillusionment regarding their work. It is important to remain attentive to these signs and take them seriously to act quickly to prevent the situation from worsening.

III. Strategies to prevent burnout as a manager

  1. Create a healthy work environment: Promote a culture of work-life balance by encouraging reasonable schedules, regular breaks, and time off. Ensure that employees feel supported and heard by promoting open communication and offering opportunities for exchange.
  2. Define clear expectations: Establish realistic and clear goals with your employees. Make sure they have the necessary resources to accomplish their tasks and avoid excessive workloads. Encourage collaboration and delegation of responsibilities to reduce feelings of isolation and overwork.
  3. Encourage autonomy and development: Give your employees some autonomy in their work by involving them in decision-making and giving them opportunities for professional development. Promote an environment where they can learn, grow, feel valued, and remain motivated.
  4. Promote mental and physical well-being: Organize well-being activities within the team, such as stress management training, health-related initiatives, or even relaxation sessions. Raise awareness among employees about the importance of taking care of themselves and seeking help when needed. The most important thing is to create a trusting environment on these issues.
  5. Establish open communication: Create a safe space where employees can express their concerns, share their difficulties, and ask for support. Encourage regular feedback and discussions on workload, expectations, and individual goals. Be attentive and responsive to the needs of your employees.
1:1 meeting - Popwork

IV. The manager's posture in preventing burnouts

As a manager, adopt a kind, empathetic, and proactive posture. Be attentive to signs of stress and work overload in your employees. Be open to flexibility, finding solutions, and adjusting tasks according to individual needs. Encourage the development of a climate of trust where employees feel comfortable expressing their difficulties. Be an example by taking care of your own well-being and demonstrating the importance of work-life balance.

☝️ Set up the right management rituals

There are different concrete ways to anticipate and preserve your team from possible work-related psychosocial risks. Setting up the right management rituals will allow you to maintain a privileged link with each member of your team.

  • Regular pulse taking and check-ins: The best way to know how your team feels is to ask them.
  • With Popwork, you can survey your team's feelings about their workload on a recurring basis. You will then have key indicators on:
    👉 Mood
    👉 Workload
    👉 Achievements
    👉 Priorities
    👉 Roadblocks
    These regular check-ins will provide you with the necessary visibility to better support your team in their work, but also to identify signs of possible emotional or mental fatigue related to work.
  • 1:1 meetings: these regular meetings allow you to consolidate the manager/managed relationship in the long term and therefore to better understand your employees. During this regular point, you can address the various topics that punctuate the daily life of each member of your team.
  • Team meetings: they will allow you to promote cohesion and a sense of belonging within your team. These meetings are also an opportunity to rally the team around common goals, to (re)motivate your team collectively, but also for the manager to feel the individual and collective dynamics.
Team meeting Popwork


Preventing burnout in their team is a crucial responsibility for any manager. By understanding the warning signs of burnout and adopting pragmatic strategies to prevent it, managers can contribute to creating a healthy and positive work environment. Therefore, promote open communication, autonomy, mental and physical well-being, as well as professional development. Managers play a key role in preventing burnout and supporting their employees.

Remember to adopt a kind and proactive posture, managers can contribute to maintaining the health and motivation of the team and therefore increase performance and the probability of hitting your team and company goals.