People often believe that burnout can only occur to professionals with a high job demand due to long-term emotional stress at work. But, that is not true. Burnout can also stem from personal issues or family problems that can make work related stress, worse. It is most common in high-performers who are often so passionate about their work that they continually work exceptionally long hours, taking enormous workloads and exerting pressure on themselves to excel. In fact, many professionals report feeling exhilarated when they have the challenge of completing impossible jobs. When you’ve developed healthy ways of coping with work-related stress, this kind of tougher-than-usual situation isn’t harmful. But, there’s is a thin line between stress and burnout than can be crossed during company’s busy seasons or in times of major organizational change. Whatever the cause is, burnout can cause a negative effect on job performance, morale, health, retention, commitment, and absenteeism. Research from 2012 shows a strong correlation between job burnout and workplace engagement. The onset of burnout doesn’t just affect the individual, it can jeopardize the entire workplace environment and even the talent on the team. To prevent burnout from plaguing your company, it’s essential that you first understand its causes and take the necessary steps to help your employees. TELL TALE SIGNS TO FEELINGS OF BURNOUT IN THE WORKPLACE INCLUDE: Loss of motivation, passion, or interest in work Short attention span, inability to stay focused Decreasing performance at work Absenteeism from work Feeling that you have a monotonous routine Feeling that you’ve lost track of what matters most at work Feeling out of ideas all the time Feeling withdrawn or even overwhelmed; physical or mental exhaustion, including sleeping disorders Feeling unhappy both professionally and personally; increasingly negative attitude and irritable behavior TIPS FOR MANAGERS TO HELP EMPLOYEES PREVENT BURNOUT: Unless you take steps to deal with it, burnout can cause difficulties for both, you and your organization. In extreme cases, job burnout can lead to severe health problems and even put your job at risk. Some of the most common causes of job burnout include: Organizational restructuring, downsizing or change in job role that makes extra demands from employees Trouble adjusting to added responsibilities Lack of work management system that allows employees to juggle and prioritize various tasks Lack of appreciation in the workplace Fast pace of work in general Constantly changing work environment, including frequent changes in policies and procedures, staffing, and location Difficulty delegating work COPING WITH JOB BURNOUT: If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, you should know that finding a solution to burnout may involve several steps. Most important of all is taking an honest look at your concerns involving work-life. Do your disappointments relate more to what is going on in your company or in your personal life? Depending on the answer, you may want to seek different solutions for your concerns. Let’s take a closer look at some suggestions: Ask for honest help and support from your manager Rethink the workflow or process your team or department uses Take some time out to seriously think about your personal and professional priorities Get plenty of sleep; take the much-needed vacation and audit your emotions Discuss physical and mental condition with your health care provider Realize what is out of your control, accept it and move on Involve yourself in stress-buster activities such as meditation, long walks, or yoga (You can even take up a new hobby) Instill meaning into what you do – personally and professionally Sadly, even though HR leaders and supervisors exert a great deal of influence over their employees’ attitude about work, many of them fail to make the time to learn how to improve workplace moral. Most important of all, the hallmark of occupational burnout is denial. Managers and employees should learn to honor and acknowledge how they feel, and create a line of communication. Talking about burnout can do a great deal of healing than most solutions.
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry
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