Is workplace burnout simply a buzzword?
Or is it something that all employers should take seriously?
Wouldn’t it be nice if avoiding burnout in the workplace made it magically disappear?
No. It’s not just a buzzword.
Yes. All leaders within organisations should take burnout seriously.
And ignoring burnout doesn’t make it magically disappear. This means you should learn to recognise and manage burnout in your workplace.
Want to learn about burnout?
Check out our lunchtime seminar “Burn-out? Or burn-on? Five strategies to maintain your drive and chill-out all at once”.
What is burnout in the workplace?
So, this means it’s probably already much worse than you think in your workplace. But getting on top of it is very much possible. It’s not hard, when you know how, and has the following benefits on staff:
- Culture retention
- Reducing sick leave
- Reducing claims for mental injuries
How to recognise workplace burnout
The UK Practitioner Health Programme’s screening questionnaire asks the following questions:
Has anyone close to you asked you to cut down your work?
In recent months, have you become angry or resentful about your work or about patients?
Do you feel guilty that you are not spending enough time with your friends, family, or even yourself?
Do you find yourself becoming increasingly emotional, for example, crying, angry, shouting, or feeling tense for no obvious reason?
Some physical symptoms of workplace burnout include:
Increasing likelihood of certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure
Mental health issues that arise from workplace burnout include:
Why is managing burnout in the workplace important?
Managing burnout in the workplace is important as it has a flow-on effect to other areas of life. And this can result in an overall feeling of unhappiness.
Some personal consequences of workplace burnout include:
- alcohol or substance abuse
- isolation from other people, both friends and family
- irresponsibility with money
- an inability to carry out your responsibilities
Professional consequences include:
- job dissatisfaction
- withdrawing from work colleagues
- an inability to do your job to the best of your ability
These consequences are not enjoyable (I speak from experience!) But they are avoidable. You just need the opportunity to learn the skills.
How to prevent burnout in the workplace
As the heading implies, prevention is key! I’m a big believer that great leaders in organisations have an interest in promoting their employee’s wellbeing. It’s all about employees making some simple but fundamental shifts in the way they work and rewind. It’s also about the workplace supporting their employees. And this helps prevent workplace burnout.
- Allow employees to take time out and discharge negative emotions. We all have days where we feel unable to stop, checking work emails from our phone while waiting for coffee. But it’s vital to take breaks. Use that time to listen to a little music, take a short walk or do some breathing exercises. Believe me, it’s crucial for wellbeing, it’s crucial for sleep and it’s crucial for workplace and personal relationships. Good wellbeing leads to good work performance
- You, as a leader, should also learn to ‘discharge’ negative emotions. What better way to encourage wellbeing among your people – lead by example!
- Great leaders in organisations value their employees. They know they need to up-skill their people to recognise the signs of burnout. And then work with employees to deal with it. That’s where my services can help!
- Make structural changes to the workplace. This may include things like private spaces, careful rostering and good communication – especially in an open office environment
- Managing employee’s workload and responsibilities. You don’t want to stress your people out by unconsciously giving them a too demanding workload. You also don’t want them feeling unappreciated by giving them nothing to do
- Create a psychologically safe workplace. Employees need to see work as nonthreatening. Giving staff clear goals and creating a collaborative workplace will help create a positive environment.
- Develop your workplace culture. Encourage employees to take breaks without feeling guilty. Create a culture where it’s okay to sometimes fail (after all, we’re only human!) There’ll be times where working outside usual business hours is necessary. But there’s still a need to agree on typical workday expectations. It’s all about setting appropriate boundaries.a