How To Beat Job Burnout
Have you or a member of your staff recently felt physically depleted? Have you felt
helpless to make changes or to make a difference? Have you felt a sense of hopelessness or
felt disillusioned? These are all symptoms of job burnout.
Burnout can be costly, for both individuals and companies. Burned-out workers have
lower moral, higher absenteeism and tardiness, and greater turnover. People who suffer
burnout develop a negative concept of themselves and negative attitudes toward their work
and even life itself. They can become detached, contemptuous, or callous toward customers,
clients and colleagues.
The downsizing of many major corporations and the "no-growth status" of many smaller
businesses has increased pressure on employees at all levels for higher productivity and
in many instances reduced pay as well. In addition, within many organizations, there are
fewer opportunities for promotion and growth.
The philosophy of "Let’s do more with less" is a recurring theme with many businesses
in our highly competitive global market. With companies, and therefore employees, under
the gun to produce and with poor opportunities in job market, job burnout is an
unfortunate fact of business life for too many people.
In these tense and uncertain times, many employees are afraid to make waves. Instead of
making their needs known, they do exactly what the company wants, sometimes at great
personal cost. Many employees today feel trapped due to bottom-line pressures. They just
do what they need to do to keep their jobs."
Many organizations today no longer encourage employee creativity and innovation, and
employees no longer feel like part of the team. It’s rare that a company in today’s
environment recognizes that encouraging innovation and inspiring its people to greatness
by allowing them to take initiative and calculated risks is the real imperative.
One of problems is that many companies today think of employees as inventory that can
be juggled around interchangeably to solve problems, rather than as critical assets whose
talents should be used to improve operations, develop new products and services, and
provide award-winning customer service.
When I’m consulting with larger organizations a common problem I often find is that
employees and managers who deal with coworkers suffering from burnout are too quick to
classify burnout as ‘personal problem.’ In most instances, the employee’s burnout really
stems from an organizational problem.
Employees don’t leave their personal lives at home, nor do they leave their work lives
at the office. The two frequently create a compounding effect that, if not checked, can
lead to a downward spiral of mistakes and accidents on the job and reduced quality of life
for the employee.