Burnout is Real and Retractable
Burnout may sound abstract, but it is real. It is also more common than you might expect.
According to the WHO, burnout results from, “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed” and is associated with “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion” and “increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job reduced professional efficacy.”
Before the pandemic, the cost of burnout was estimated to be anywhere from $125 to $190 billion annually. The cost of burnout since March 2020 is expected to be much higher.
How Leaders Can Prevent Burnout
In March 2020, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Healthpublished a new study on burnout. The study detailed three categories in which one can proactively prevent burnout:
- Increasing/maintaining job control
- Increasing/maintaining supervisor social support
- Increasing/maintaining co-worker social support
- Feedback seeking
- Seeking/performing tasks that energize
- Reducing hindering job demands
- Increasing/maintaining home autonomy
- Increasing/maintaining home social support
- Reducing work-home conflict
- Improving/maintaining physical health
- Developing/maintaining psychological wellbeing
- Engaging in relaxing activities
While leaders can’t control what happens at home or on a personal level, they can control what happens in the work domain.
How Leaders Can Help Prevent Burnout
While leaders can’t control what happens at home, in the work domain they can proactively support burnout prevention by taking the following steps:
Increasing and Maintaining Job Control: Create clear expectations with success criteria and heighten transparency.
Increasing and Maintaining Supervisor Social Support: Be clear about where and how employees can access support.
- Increasing and Maintaining Coworker Social Support: Encourage employees to keep building support networks, including mentorship relationships. Create opportunities for employees to connect with each other.
- Feedback Seeking: Calibrate often with employees, especially younger team members who often expect and need more feedback to be at their best on the job.
- Seeking and Performing Tasks that Energize: Ensure everyone’s work has meaning. Purpose is s key driver of great work and has a positive impact on retention rates.
- Reducing Hindering Job Demands: Clear the decks. Get clear on top priorities. When team members are laser focused on just one or two tasks that matter, stress and burnout are reduced.
Keep reading to learn more or set up a time to talk to Dr. Camille Preston to discover how she can support you and your team.