“James River Corp. Principal Paul Saunders Speaks on Countering Employee Burnout “

The Harvard Business Review reports that in the U.S. 20% of the workforce is susceptible to work-related burnout. The symptoms of an impending burnout include ignoring workplace responsibilities (disengagement). People facing burnout may begin to feel that it is pointless to accomplish anything while on the job (hopelessness).


Becoming overly emotional is symptomatic of stress, but becoming emotionless is a sign of burnout. The body will react to burn out the same way it reacts to any form of stress. A persistent tightening of the neck muscles, upset stomach, and headache can be physical manifestations of burnout.


During an interview with Patch.com Paul Saunders, a Principal with James River Capital Corp. addressed the issue of employee burnout. When employees become overwhelmed by deadlines and other time-related issues they begin to feel helpless and hopeless. To counter this cause of burnout Saunders recommends that employers become more flexible with regards to structure and policies. He further suggested that at the start of the workday employees be allowed 10-15 minutes to plan their day. The opportunity to spend time setting their goals for the day gives workers a greater sense of control.


Founded by KP Futures Management Corp. in 1986 James River Capital Corp was Kidder, Peabody & Company’s alternative investment wing. James River became it owns entity nine years later when Kevin Brandt and Paul Saunders acquired James River in 1995. James River Capital Corp. is listed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an Investment Advisor. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recognizes the company as a Commodity Pool Operator. In July of last year, James River was managing $570 million.


Employees not receiving the recognition they deserve from their superiors can contribute to hopelessness and ultimately burnout. Paul Saunders advocates for greater openness between managers and subordinates. He further recommends that companies provide employees with the tools to avoid burnout.


Impending burnout can cause a worker to become easily agitated, moody, and negative about their work. The solution is to talk to rather than reprimand an employee displaying the behaviors mentioned above. During the talk suggest distractions outside the workplace that can take the employee’s mind off work.


When on the verge of burning out an employee could lose self-confidence and begin second-guessing themselves. This leads to the aforementioned disengagement. Saunders suggests countering this scenario by first checking with employees on their emotional state. Secondly, rebuild the worker’s self-confidence by setting goals that they can’t fail to achieve.


As a final thought, Paul Saunders pointed out the in importance of a company helping its employees succeed. You can’t separate the success of employees from the success of the company. Learn more: https://vimeo.com/272365860