What a wake-up call. Among the many groups emotionally invested in the tragic death of elite Japanese thoroughbred (and Caulfield Cup winner) Admire Rakti following the running of this week’s Melbourne Cup, few have considered spoken of the workload the horse was under, and whether there were the lack of any key indicators that the horse wasn’t coping.

Regardless of where you sit on the scale between racing purist and animal cruelty advocate, the similarities between the horse’s racing program and a star employee being pushed to the limit can’t be ignored. Our employees or contractors god-forbid will not suffer the same fate after a hard week of results driven work, or whilst striving to improve on already world-class results, but they can sure feel like (or picture) it.

In memory of a star employee, who travelled the globe winning his connections (employers) over $5 million in prize money, have a think about the star in your stable. Are you satisfied with their ‘Caulfield Cup’ win, or are you already looking ahead to next month? To a bigger fish closer to ‘Melbourne Cup’ status? What questions can you ask your go-to person or gun sales team to gauge whether they’re coping? What signs, as an employer, can you identify that you may be asking too much of a single employee or group? And most importantly, for their well-being, can you be honest in saying you’re not expecting too much?

Below are some common signs of work-related burn out- a condition commonly confused with stress. Employers should be vigilant in knowing their employee’s regular habits, and take note of any changes in signs below.