Burning out is an occupational phenomenon we can no longer ignore, a chronic condition recognised by the World Health Organisation.
It manifests in low-energy and negative attitudes in individuals and affects productivity and morale in teams.
Crucially, it affects employee turnover, retention and career growth.
Eighteen months into the pandemic, we’ve adapted productivity tools and processes to compensate for in-person work encounters.
An employee’s mental health or state of mind is a blind spot. According to Microsoft’s most recent Work Trend Index, business leaders are faring much better than their employees and are out of touch and need a wake-up call.
Business leaders are thriving; employees are not.
Sixty-one per cent of leaders say that they are “thriving”, 23 percentage points higher than those without decision-making authority.
Employees in decision making roles were overwhelmingly the only thriving group, and more than half of junior or middle managers were struggling or merely surviving.
Your senior, middle managers and executives might be bearing the brunt, even while performing in peak productivity.
While working remotely, you may be losing visibility on their stressors, whether at home or at work.
High productivity masks an exhausted workforce
The same study found that the digital intensity and productivity has improved, but it’s masking an exhausted workforce, tracking trillions of productivity signals from LinkedIn and Microsoft 365.
Employee’s self-assessed productivity remained the same or increased, while one in five respondents says that their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance or feel overworked.
The cost of a disengaged employee: 34% of their annual salary.
An actively disengaged employee costs the organisation dearly in absenteeism, turnover, or safety incidents. Gallup estimates that this costs up to 34% of their annual salary.
We’ve learnt that you cannot ask your employee to “snap out of it” or take a few days off to recharge.
It’s important to note that burnout is not permanent and that teams and individuals can move from survival, burnout, recharge and performance zones.
This all begins by first identifying and acknowledging the states of emotions and energy, to understand how individuals and teams are functioning.
It is unrealistic to expect employees to always be on an upswing: no one can be on high energy and high emotions all the time, and even a high-performing team can only sustain its pace if it takes time to recharge.
If a disengaged employee is in a Survival or Burnout Zone, they are characterised as being fearful, angry or anxious. These are powerful, valid emotions, and constantly cheer-leading them does little improve the situation – the daily grind does not change.
Recharging will help deal with the present. Coupled with a proactive approach to Rejuvenate the team helps to help prepare for the future. Thriving happens when this is developed for continuous excellence.
We’ve applied this resilience-strengthening model across our corporate training sessions for hundreds of participants. For the first time ever we are offering a public programme for all levels of seniority.
Participants in our two-day programme, Recharge, Rejuvenate and Thrive will learn mindsets, behaviours and practical tips to identify stressors, optimise energy and emotional balance.
Find out more about this HRDF claimable programme, Recharge, Rejuvenate and Thrive (13 & 14 July) here!