We’ve heard it again this week. Zoom fatigue is real. Unfortunately, so is burnout and more and more individuals are heading towards it.
What is the problem?
While the term “burnout” was coined in the 1970s, it wasn’t always clear what it is. The World Health Organisation (WHO) brought clarity in 2019, when it classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon. It’s, however, not a medical condition.
For many, it is related to chronic workplace stress. Dr. Jacinta Jimenez, author of “The Burnout Fix”, sees it as a wider issue. It’s a mismatch of an individual’s values, their workload, perception of fairness, financial and non-financial rewards received, their (work) community and the control they have over their job.
Individuals may experience it by
- Physical and mental fatigue or exhaustion
- Increased irritation, cynicism and negativity about their job, colleagues and company and/or
- Reduced efficacy, productivity and performance.
Burnout may not be a medical condition. Yet, it can lead to serious physical and psychological illnesses like depression, heart disease and diabetes. Companies and their leaders must act and find personalised approaches to tackle it.
How can we address burnout?
It may not be always easy to spot burnout. When an employee mentions burnout, the leader’s response will be crucial. As an organisation, you can implement these steps to create an environment that promotes wellbeing:
- Provide clear communication, including clear and realistic performance expectations and a focus on developing the individual further.
- Empower employees and foster autonomy, giving more control to the individual over their work.
- Connect employees through positive relationships in an environment free of bullying and harassment.
- Educate all employees about healthy lifestyle choices covering nutrition, movement, mental relaxation and sleep hygiene.
- Create a safe environment offering genuine care for everyone and where employees can raise their concerns with their manager without fear of repercussion. Leaders must show their compassion and empathy.
Personalised approaches to identifying the stressors will be required.
Organisations need to change their tactics and personalise their approaches to support employee heading towards burnout. Forward-looking companies are creating meaningful and easy-to-implement wellbeing initiatives. They integrate them into the overall business strategy and are underlining their commitment to a healthy, engaged and productive workforce.
Contact us and find out how we can support your company’s growth with customised well-being programmes for your leaders and employees.