“Founder of James River Capital, Paul Saunders, on Employee Burnout and How to Address It “

Those working in finance and investment are no strangers to a demanding workload and the inevitable stress that follows, but few have the decades of experience that Paul Saunders has. Founding James River Capital, taking on dual roles as Principal and portfolio manager, Saunders knows what it takes to excel in this line of work, and can identify when it all gets to be too much.

 

For Saunders, burnout isn’t something that manifests out of nowhere. To an observant manager or supervisor, there are clear signs that what’s being expected of an employee is getting to be too much for them to handle. Fortunately, there are steps one can take to address that exhaustion and keep those working under them from crashing and burning.

 

One of the first signs that an employee is getting overwhelmed is feeling that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. When daily tasks seem to exceed the hours in the workday, and a supervisor takes an inflexible position, that employee’s performance can only decline in quality and output. In this case, Saunders urges managers to start off the workday by setting daily goals that are within reason. This can restore a sense of control to the employee and lead them to be more productive.

 

This will require those in a supervisory position to more open to communication and being more transparent with their staff. Employees who apply for a promotion or expecting a raise may become frustrated when their career isn’t evolving in they expected. When this occurs, Saunders says that it’s the responsibility of the supervisor or manager to let employees know why they aren’t advancing professionally and where their work could use improvement. This will help employees develop a more realistic view of how they factor into the office, and in certain cases improve to meet their personal goals. Learn more: https://www.behance.net/jamesrivercc

 

The objective is to restore confidence to an employee so that they don’t impact the productivity of the whole office, and in some cases to make that office more productive than before. This may not work for every employee. Saunders notes that it may be necessary for supervisors to dedicate one-on-one consultation with certain employees who lack confidence in the work they produce. By setting small tasks for them to meet, leading to equally small victories, employees can claw their way back to contributing meaningfully to collective projects.

 

While Saunders’ advice comes from experience in investment and finance, it’s become endemic in Western culture. He points to mobile devices as a big factor in that. What was once a convenient way to communicate important information to employees away from the office has become a way to keep them on the clock indefinitely. When there is no longer a separation between work and home, Saunders says it’s just a matter of time before burnout sets in, and their coworkers may not be far behind.

 

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