7 Ways to Cope with the Burnout of a Top Performer

Top producers tend to know their ABC’s…

After all, coffee is for closers….

We’re a sucker for a good Glengarry Glen Ross monologue…but what happens when your real life closer isn’t actually closing anymore? What happens when your top person is burned out? How do you deal, and more importantly, how do you rejuvenate their performance?

Here are seven ways to bring back the pep in their step and cope with the burnout of a top performer.


1. Switch up responsibilities. Top performers may be burned out because of boredom or lack of inspiration, and could become re-engaged after a change in responsibilities or routine. If burnout is the cause of a specific project, take them off the assignment and put them on a different one that could be a better use of their skills.


2. Be empathetic. Think about what’s going on in the employee’s life and what other circumstances may be affecting their performance. Don’t make assumptions before talking to them, and don’t be accusatory. Ask questions, listen and digest before reacting.


3. Know your staff. Understand what motivates each person on your team. It may be helpful to push one employee to get them out of a rut while it may be best to give another employee a break.


4. Go back to what worked. Think about when they were performing well and what they were doing to achieve that. If it’s different than what they’re doing now, go back to what worked for them before.


5. Treat them. Show them you care. Spend more time with them; ask how they’re feeling; take them out to dinner or drinks. When employees feel invested in, they will be more likely to be loyal to you and the company, and want to work harder.


6. Focus on small wins. Celebrate the small wins because employees who are burned out need motivation and support…something small may be the spark to turn them around.


7. Prevent the ripple effect. If a few employees look overwhelmed or stressed, do something fun for the whole team or company, whether it’s a having an early happy hour in the office or getting up to do an office-wide stretch. It’s important to notice this because burnout can ripple throughout the office if not spotted and fixed early.

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