What is burnout, what are the causes and how to prevent it.

Burnout has negative effects on team performance. Learn what causes it and how HR and a wellbeing plan can help prevent it.


Work stress is a silent but always lurking enemy. If prolonged over a long period of time, it can turn into "burnout," the total exhaustion of physical and mental energy.

In recent years we have been hearing more and more about this problem, which now seems to have become endemic in many professional settings. But what does burnout mean? Occupational burnout is a state of deep prostration caused by chronic work stress. One feels drained, lacking motivation and passion. Even simple daily tasks can feel exhausting.

The effects of burnout are not only personal but also indirectly affect companies in terms of lowered productivity, increased absenteeism and turnover. But who does burnout affect? What can be done to prevent it? In this article we will discuss the causes of burnout and how a strategy that focuses on corporate wellbeing can make a difference.

1. Lack of work-life balance

Living immersed in a professional routine and forgetting to unplug even for a few hours can turn into a mental trap that is difficult to get out of. Without breaks and recreational moments, the mind and body end up going haywire under the stress of relentlessly overlapping responsibilities and deadlines. The danger of burnout is always lurking.

Companies have a duty to protect people's well-being by promoting policies dedicated to work-life balance. Smart working, adopted judiciously and flexibly, can be an excellent tool for work-life balance, perhaps accompanied by an online team building strategy.

To avoid work-related stress and enjoy life, it is important to balance work and personal life, both in and out of the office. Mental health also depends on these small steps.

2. Burnout and toxic work environment

A workplace should always reflect the principles of cooperation, trust and mutual respect. Unfortunately, sometimes daily hustle and unhealthy dynamics can contribute to a toxic environment. An environment marked by extreme competitiveness, poor communication, authoritarian managers, bullying and constant stress represents fertile ground for the development of burnout.

Work should be a source of fulfillment, not frustration.

To prevent these risks, it is essential that companies foster a culture based on respect and active listening. Improving team spirit , creating a climate in which every idea is valuable is how we build the trust needed to perform at our best.

Enhancing everyone's talents, promoting inclusion and empathy makes all the difference. Only in a supportive environment is it possible to express one's potential without falling into job stress burnout. Change starts with the individual, but it is up to everyone to make it possible.

3. Lack of feedback

Receiving feedback is essential to multiply one's efforts in the right direction. Knowing what is being done well and what needs improvement helps to increaseeffectiveness and one's capabilities. Unfortunately, performance appraisal processes are lacking or completely absent in many companies. Workers are left in doubt about their performance, without receiving useful insights for growth.

This lack of communication becomes critical over time, giving rise to insecurity, demotivation and a sense of loneliness in facing daily challenges. The risk of burnout lurks.

Receiving continuous and constructive feedback that actively engages the person, stimulating participation and self-evaluation, is basic for anyone who wants to improve. Companies should equip themselves with effective mentoring and coaching systems that can constantly monitor the team's strengths and weaknesses. Only by valuing each person through frank but never demolishing confrontation can the best be achieved.

4. Work done is not recognized

One of the primary needs for working people is to feel valued and appreciated for their work. Unfortunately, companies are not always able to concretely recognize employees' achievements. When daily efforts and sacrifices go unrecognized, it is easy to lose motivation and enthusiasm. One feels taken for granted, despite all efforts.

This long-term decrease in self-esteem can result in job stress and burnout. Employees need positive feedback to fuel commitment and empowerment.

Celebrating individual and team successes, even the smallest ones, is crucial for mental and physical well-being. Company events, awards and bonuses are great ways to give concrete thanks to all employees. But it also suffices to start with a simple recognition in front of the team at a company event

5. The work is not stimulating

Doing the same routine tasks over and over again, without stimulating novelties to fuel curiosity and creativity, let's face it, is mentally debilitating.

When work stops fulfilling and enriching, one ends up experiencing it as an oppression from which to escape. Instead, the mind and spirit need to feed on continuous stimulation.An overly repetitive and uninspiring routine can easily generate boredom, diminished performance and, over time, outright burnout.

Companies should aim to create job-enriching environments through continuous training, activities that stimulate lateral thinking, rotation between roles, and shadowing in multidiscplinary teams.

Also programs of team building or training days and creative brainstorming help to breathe new life into people.

6. There are no prospects for growth

Every human being needs to evolve and feel that one's skill set is constantly expanding. However, when the job does not provide concrete outlets for growth, one risks plunging into despondency.

Feeling stuck in the same tasks for years breeds boredom and fear of not progressing, negatively affecting motivation and mental well-being. People need stimulation to constantly progress in their abilities and aspirations.  

Companies should decisively invest in staff training, offering refresher courses, rotations in different areas, and career opportunities. 

Growth, when supported, becomes a source of greater mental and physical well-being and business productivity. A virtuous circle to be pursued.

7. The work environment is not fair

A healthy work environment should be based on values such as fairness, transparency and justice in economic treatment and recognition. Sometimes there is favoritism and unjustified privileges that make employees feel unmotivated and insecure.

This lack of fairness over time ruins group serenity and worsens productivity. Workers get the impression that decisions are not based on merit but on other things.

To avoid this, companies must have clear and transparent rules, to be communicated at the time of hiring, at the time of ' onboarding , and consistently throughout the career path. Benefits and flexible salaries must also follow ethical principles.

Thus an environment of trust is created where everyone can give their best while improving performance and being well.

8. The company's values are not in line with your values

Entering a work environment every day where one does not recognize oneself is really frustrating. Feeling at odds with the values and culture promoted by the company generates discomfort that, over time, can result in job stress.

When the company does not follow the same ideas and values, when the way of working seems wrong or unfair, it is normal to lose the desire and motivation. One feels increasingly disconnected from the work context, like fish out of water, just where it would be important to feel integrated into a larger shared project.

Consistency between business ethics and the personalities of those who work there is essential to the well-being of all and the success of the company.

Improve wellbeing and prevent burnout with Kampaay

Corporate events can play a key role in improving corporate wellbeing and preventing burnout. Events such as parties, workshops, or group activities can improve the atmosphere, strengthen the sense of belonging, and enhance everyone's work. 

Find out how Kampaay can help you improve corporate wellbeing and prevent burnout with its innovative plateform that simplifies every step of organizing a corporate event.

About the author

Kampaay is the solution that facilitates the management and organization of corporate events, the ideal partner for those who want to bring innovation and digitization to their company.

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