While costly and draining, turnover is an inevitable part of running a restaurant. It can be the result of many factors, but employee burnout is a frequent culprit. Burnout can be prevented if not avoided entirely. Learn the signs of burnout, act accordingly, and save yourself time and money. 

Telltale Signs of Employee Burnout

Often tired, late, and frequently call in sick

Employees who are overworked and overwhelmed are more likely to face mental and physical health issues, which will undoubtedly impact their work. If they are burned out, employees often experience lack of sleep that can lead to poor attendance. What may look like apathy can actually be a sign of distress. This will negatively affect the experience of your customers.

Not acting like themselves

If an employee seems more negative, short-tempered, or withdrawn than usual, take note. Withdrawal can be a sign of dissatisfaction or detachment. Pessimism can be a symptom of feelings of inadequacy or ineffectiveness. If you notice an employee acting strangely, take them aside and make sure their issues are addressed.

Less enthusiastic about their work

When employees feel that their efforts underappreciated, they may disengage. This can cause employees to lose motivation, effectively putting a damper on the customer experience. If an employee appears to be slacking off, it may be because they feel their work isn’t getting the attention it deserves. A good manager will notice these changes. A great manager will keep the team motivated and give value to their efforts.

How to Avoid Burnout

Encourage Breaks

If employees don’t take time to recharge and refocus, they can burn out quickly. In a study conducted by Staples almost half (40 percent) of workers claimed to feel burned out. These feelings decreased when supervisors encouraged employees to take breaks. This positive effect took hold even if employees did not take a break. Make sure to schedule breaks around times when restaurant is busiest and encourage your team to use them.

Create a Supportive Work Environment

Your staff should feel comfortable coming to their manager with concerns. One easy way to foster this dynamic is through regular check-ins by a manager. Remember, an employee who feels they can’t mention their problems may find that the easiest solution is for them to let burn out get the best of them. What’s worse, some employees may even go so far as to quit.

Provide Employees with Growth Opportunities

It’s important that employees are empowered with options for ascension in the restaurant ranks. This opportunity keeps staff on task and motivated to work hard in their current role, instead of searching for jobs elsewhere.

By knowing how to spot employee burnout and implementing practices and policies to combat it, you can reduce employee turnover. Not only will staff stay motivated, they’ll also feel more valued and comfortable in their current role. The happier your staff, the happier your customers, the happier you — it’s a win-win-win.