Employee Burnout: The Silent Assassin Of Your Top Performers

What is employee burnout, and how can it be prevented?

February 21, 2023

In today’s challenging retail environment, finding and keeping top talent is more important than ever. However, the pandemic has left many retail workers feeling exhausted, under-appreciated, and under-staffed. If store associates were lucky enough to receive thanks or praise from a customer during the pandemic, they were slammed back into the reality of a thankless role. On top of it all, these exhausted employees constantly have more work added to their already-overloaded plates.  

The business impact of losing a top performer can be significant. When well-respected employees leave, it ripples across your entire team. Plus, not only does it cost money to re-hire and train new staff, but it also puts more pressure on remaining team members to fill the gap (and with a smile). 

One of the biggest challenges for retailers is finding and keeping talent in this job market. In a time when retailers are already struggling to find and hold onto talent, top staff members are your best advocates. In turn, burnout among employees can make it even more difficult to attract new staff, as top performers are not likely to be vocal advocates for their employer if they struggle to maintain balance.

Zipline: a lifeline in the battle against burnout

In the fast-paced and ever-changing world of retail, managing teams and operations can be a daunting task. With increasing pressure to cut costs and maintain high levels of productivity, it’s no wonder that burnout has become a pervasive issue in the industry. 

But there’s hope: Zipline, a communication platform designed specifically for retailers, offers a lifeline in the battle against burnout. By providing clarity, cost savings, community, and alignment, Zipline empowers retail leaders to better support their teams and improve store execution. Here are four easy steps to help transform the way you do business.


Zipline removes the need to worry about what you’re not remembering, how it was sent to you (and where on earth to find it again), and when it needs to be completed – all the things that you often remember laying in bed at night just before you fall asleep…. Instead, you can just simply focus on execution.

(And let us tell you, as retail people who used to get emails from leadership in the middle of the night, feeling the constant pressure to be on top of everything all the time, we understand: that kind of clarity is priceless.)

Cost Savings

Retailers are doing their best to manage tighter labor plans in a job market that isn’t exactly favorable for retailers… Needless to say, it’s crucial to cut down on time and labor costs wherever possible. 

Just ask Lush, who saved a whopping $1 million in SM labor by eliminating their previous process of in-person delegation and follow-up. By centralizing communication in one place, Zipline makes it easy for stores to check in and stay up to date, without wasting time or resources.

(And you know better than anyone, when you’re already feeling the pressure to do more with less, every little bit helps.)


When it comes to stopping the talent drain in retail, there’s no magic silver bullet, but there are straightforward remedies that managers can rely on. By simply listening to their employees, showing support for their mental health, and acknowledging their hard work, managers can make a big difference for their staff and their business.

After all, retail workers deserve recognition and appreciation for all the hard work they do. That’s why Zipline makes it easy to give shout-outs and show appreciation to team members, even in the midst of a hectic workday. 

Whether it’s creating a peer group of managers with an RM to openly share what’s working and what’s not, or just taking a moment to recognize someone’s great work, this space helps create a sense of community and support that can make all the difference.


Your store employees are juggling countless tasks, especially now that they are asked to do more with less. There is a huge amount of information hitting stores, all while handling the usual tasks that are necessary to keep the store running and serve customers well. Today, only 29% of the direction sent from HQ stores is executed correctly, across the entire retail industry. 

These “daily disconnects” can lead to frustration and burnout. Engaging employees requires a complete organizational alignment. We’ve been there in the trenches, too, and we understand that this lack of execution isn’t the fault of stores. Most retailers just haven’t given store teams the right tools and information that they need to be successful. 

We have seen, time and time again, that misalignment and inconsistent store execution always comes down to unclear communication.

Retail leaders must not only recognize employees, but also listen to their frontlines and commit to empowering their staff. This requires a leadership philosophy of being in service to stores. By listening to what people need in order to get the job done better, we can learn what’s working and what’s not. 

Setting up your teams for success means empowering stores to effectively prioritize and plan. That could mean providing information to the right role or location, or making information more accessible and available so that employees can spend less time searching, and more time executing.

The post-pandemic world has created a challenging environment for retailers, and the Great Resignation is a real phenomenon. Workers are looking for better opportunities, more flexible schedules, and better work-life balance. More than ever, employee engagement is vital.

At Zipline, we believe that there is a magic sauce that fosters the growth and success of retail store associates. With effective task management and communication, you can keep employees engaged, aligned, and ultimately, happy. 

It’s no secret that happy employees result in happy customers. Once you set your retail employees up for success, you can ultimately provide your customers with great shopping experiences.

An engaged workforce results in more productive employees, more satisfied customers, and reduced turnover. 

That’s why Zipline cares so deeply about employee engagement. By communicating clearly with the field, retailers can connect to-dos with a deeper brand story that tells associates in stores why their work matters and how they contribute to the success of the company as a whole.

Zipline was built to solve the unique challenges of communication in retail organizations. Reach out to learn more about how you can stop communicating with your stores and start communicating with your people today.

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