With Burnout on the Rise, Here's the 1 Thing Managers Need to Do to Ensure Their Employees Feel Supported Those who work from home are finding it increasingly difficult to draw the line between their job and personal lives, so what can managers do to help?

By Justin Chan

In the weeks following the early outbreak of Covid-19 in the U.S., many companies were forced to shut down their offices. As a result, not only did most workers have to adjust to a new reality in which they spent much of their days working from home, they also found themselves battling another unexpected challenge: increased burnout.

Over these months, the pandemic has exacerbated the stress that employees face at work. It has especially impacted millennials, 59% of whom reported burnout during the pandemic in an Indeed survey last month. In fact, the study revealed that, among millennials, baby boomers, Gen Xer and Gen Zers, 67% of respondents believed that burnout has gotten worse since last March.

Related: How to Deal With Employee Burnout

At a time when workers are struggling to draw the line between work and home in a work-from-home setting, managers play a critical role in ensuring that their employees feel supported. According to Karin Borchert, CEO of Modern Hire, that begins with having one-on-one communication.

"I would encourage every manager to make sure they're doing [it] at least weekly, but, in some cases, more frequently depending on the nature of the [employee's] role," she says. "You know, how's their mental well-being, their physical well-being, personal stresses? Without getting into people's personal business."

Checking in on employees is particularly important, considering that managers don't often have an understanding of "all the things that people are juggling in their personal lives," Borchert adds. Because so many employees now work in the confines/comforts of their homes, it can be difficult to keep their personal and work lives separate. In some cases, personal issues can "bleed into" their work lives, she says: "These are such challenging times, and you don't just always know what's [happening] behind somebody."

As such, managers additionally need to be mindful of their tone when conducting those one-on-ones. As Borchert notes, every conversation between a manager and their employee needs to be built on trust. Otherwise, workers may feel uncomfortable about expressing their concerns.

"You can't help someone who's not sharing what's going on," she says. "Then you're just guessing at what it could be. I think[it's just about putting people at ease that you're really asking how are things going and how can I make you be more successful."

More importantly, managers should be able to contextualize employee concerns. In other words, if a worker brings up an issue, a manager should see if it reflects a larger problem at hand that needs to be addressed. One easy way to determine this is to search for patterns throughout the company, Borchert says.

"A manager might be thinking this is just one employee who's raised these things, when, in fact, there may be themes among the team or other people in the organization," she says. "A manager has a responsibility to take those [issues] to their own manager too. This is why there are layers of management with additional expertise that can help raise common issues that might be in the organization — things that need to be addressed more broadly."

Ultimately, a competent manager knows how to empathize.

"I would say you need to build those relationships [with employees] to understand how people are doing," Borchert says. "As the manager, you're dependent on your team's success … So if you're not checking in to understand what people are facing, then that's a mistake."

Wavy Line
Justin Chan

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Justin Chan is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, he was a trending news editor at Verizon Media, where he covered entrepreneurship, lifestyle, pop culture, and tech. He was also an assistant web editor at Architectural Record, where he wrote on architecture, travel, and design. Chan has additionally written for Forbes, Reader's Digest, Time Out New YorkHuffPost, Complex, and Mic. He is a 2013 graduate of Columbia Journalism School, where he studied magazine journalism. Follow him on Twitter at @jchan1109.

Editor's Pick

A Father Decided to Change When He Was in Prison on His Son's Birthday. Now His Nonprofit Helps Formerly Incarcerated Applicants Land 6-Figure Jobs.
A Teen Turned His Roblox Side Hustle Into a Multimillion-Dollar Company — Now He's Working With Karlie Kloss and Elton John
3 Mundane Tasks You Should Automate to Save Your Brain for the Big Stuff
The Next Time Someone Intimidates You, Here's What You Should Do
5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health and Regulate Your Nervous System for Sustainable Success

Related Topics

Business News

'I Am Just Floored': Woman Discovers She Won $1 Million Lottery Prize While Checking Her Email at Work

Initially, she thought the email was a scam, but went to lottery headquarters and walked away with a six-figure check after taxes.

Business News

South Park Creators Spent 'Infinity Dollars' Renovating Iconic Colorado Restaurant, Set to Reopen Soon

Casa Bonita, a long-time favorite of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, went bankrupt during the pandemic. The duo purchased and painstakingly renovated the Mexican spot "like a piece of art," Stone said.

Business News

'I've Got the Bug for Business': See All of Mark Wahlberg's Entrepreneurial Endeavors, From Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch to Wahlburgers

Mark Wahlberg owns businesses in several categories, including entertainment production, apparel, fitness, and nutrition.


'Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch' Is Back Open for Business!

Check out this preview of season nine of our hit show "Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch." Big ideas and big money are on the line!

Business News

'I'm Not a Very Good Businessman': Kevin Costner Is Risking a Ton of His Own Money on New Project

The "Yellowstone" star discussed how he bankrolled his new epic movies — and his accountant isn't happy.