Jyoti Kamath, PR Professional was an ace employee that went the extra mile to get things done. For the longest time, she kept shrugging off the symptoms of fatigue, low self-worth, stress and lack of interest and charged on like a car at high speed. Until one day, the bubbly personality just did not want to get out of bed and go to the workplace. Managers and colleagues called frantically to convince her to come back but for Jyoti, that was it. Before you too lose out on your precious employees to burnout, here is what you need to know…
What is workplace burnout?
Burnout is the cumulative result of many aspects such as work specific stress, physical and mental fatigue compounded by a feeling of reduced accomplishment and personal identity crisis.
The Shirom-Melamed Burnout Measure (SMBM; Shirom, 1989) refers it to a “combination of physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion and cognitive weariness”. As per the World Health Organisation, it is a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
The statistics of the same are alarming. According to a recent report from Indeed.com, the condition has only become worse since the last year with 52% of the respondents feeling burned out and 67% believing that it has taken a turn for the worse post the pandemic.
Deloitte’s external marketplace survey of 1,000 full-time employees showcased that 77 percent of respondents underwent employee burnout at their current job. The study also threw light on how employers may be falling behind in creating well-being programs that their employees feel are helpful to address workplace stress.
Possible causes of workplace burnout
Below are some of the reasons your employee might be suffering from burnout…
- Lack of work-life balance
Having a healthy work-life balance gives a sense of completeness and a cushion to soften the blow of the stresses of work.
- Unhealthy environment
Being bullied or having peers and managers who are painful to be around bring in an emotional as well as mental disbalance. Having no social support or people to lean on can further create a gap between the individual and the workplace.
- Too much of workload
If the workload assigned to one employee is that of three people, needless to say, it will bring in physical as well as mental exhaustion.
- Uncertain job expectations
When an employee is uncertain about the work profile, degree of authority and what is expected, he or she is bound to not be at ease and confused as to how to go about things.
- Lack of control
Not being able to have a say in the decisions that make an impact such as resources, schedule, assignments or workload can further create stress and fatigue.
Symptoms of burnout
As per the book, Managing Burnout in the Workplace A Guide for Information Professionals by Nancy McCormack, Catherine Cotter, “According to researches, changes in personality or attitude are observable in people who are burning out; formerly even-tempered employees are suddenly short-tempered, easily irritated, rude and insensitive.” Below are some of the symptoms to watch out for employees.
Is your employee
- Being overly cynical and critical?
- Showing signs of fatigue and unproductiveness?
- Showcasing lack of patience with co-workers, customers and client?
- Suffering from sudden health ailments?
- Resorting to substance abuse and alcohol?
- Appearing to look disillusioned with the job?
- Showing a disinterest?
- Appearing to be low on morale and self-esteem?
What can be done about it:
Bringing a change in the workload or working style
If it is the workload or the way of working that has led to burnout, you can sit with the employee and discuss what are the areas that can be adjusted or tweaked to provide a balanced experience. Timely surveys or checking in with the employees will give an understanding of how he or she is coping up with the demands of the place.
Bringing about a change in the employee’s attitude
Sometimes it is necessary to shift the perspective of the employee in case the individual is being too hard on oneself or steering towards negative thought processes. As per the study, ‘Multidimensional perfectionism and burnout: a meta-analysis’ by Andrew P. Hill, Thomas Curran, “perfectionistic concerns displayed medium-to-large and medium positive relationships with overall burnout and symptoms of burnout.” Motivating the employee and getting rid of self-imposed pressures can bring about a lightness to the stress.
Offering counselling from an expert
As burnout leads to mental and physical complications, it is advisable to get expert help regarding the same. Your organization can tie up with a counselling company that recognises the symptoms early on and provides the appropriate assistance to heal the employee.
Conducting relaxing and fun group sessions
The pandemic has indeed put a halt to the team building activities and outstation trips that felt like a break to the employees. But conducting relaxing group activities in a safe or virtual manner and creating a spirit of comradery within the members of the team can put a positive spin on situations.
Burnout is not a condition that can be ignored as it can bring about a negative impact to both the individual and the company. Creating a cohesive work atmosphere, recognising early symptoms in the employees and seeking professional help can ensure a healthy environment.
Bouncbk is a mobile platform designed to help your employees measure and improve their emotional well-being. Email us at email@example.com to know more.