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Burnout is like a wildfire. It burns us up from the inside, making us more likely to snap, feel depressed, anxious or have low motivation. It ravages teams, companies and relationships. It’s caused by stress due to:
Unclear expectations and communication
A lack of appropriate autonomy and resources (staff, equipment or tools)
Inconsistency and constant change
Disconnection, absent support and growth
A combination of any of these issues will cause burnout.
Most companies pay attention to burnout when the final symptoms arise: key departures, attrition, decreased productivity and profitability.
Once we’re tired of the blame game, we can turn to solutions.
How do we reverse occupational burnout*?
ALL levels of staff must learn to communicate clearly so that needs and desires are expressed and addressed effectively.
How do we clarify communication?
See TEND Method™ Seminars, Five to Align Journal. The TEND Method™ is a practical approach to communicate and listen to express needs and desires effectively.
Emotions are the first human language. But when we don’t listen or understand them, we end up communicating emotions instead of clear messages. This leads to misunderstandings and unclear communication.
Poor communication is costly: it can cost companies millions through low productivity and morale.
Practicing the TEND Method™ allows us to decipher this international language easily in order to express ourselves and listen more clearly. It gets to the root of poor communication.
ALL levels of staff need to understand their role and responsibilities, their priorities, when deliverables are due and what quality work looks like.
How do we clarify expectations?
See the Integrated Leadership System. This can be used to empower your existing HR organization
How we work: clear and aligned company culture
What we do: clear communication and guidance from hiring through onboarding, performance management and career planning. Competency gaps are identified and addressed quickly. Encourage appropriate levels of autonomy to allow for growth aligned with the company and the employees needs.
When we work: clear time boundaries
Our modern world gives us the ability to work 24/7. But work without boundaries leads to burnout. Set expectations for the company working hours and encourage downtime. Lead by example and don’t send emails outside of normal working hours unless there is an exceptional situation. The exception can’t become the rule.
The only thing that’s constant in life is change. Yet change is uncomfortable. Necessary change can allow work to flow more efficiently and enable growth. Unnecessary change creates instability, chaos and stress.
How do we manage change?
1. Clearly communicate why the change is necessary and use cross-functional collaboration to create durable and meaningful solutions. This minimizes the need to constantly iterate revisions (i.e: never-ending change) and creates champions for the change.
2. Acknowledge that change can have a physiological effect: it triggers the stress response. Encourage access to tools to reduce stress practically and effectively during periods of change.
See Five to Align journal to increase resilience and allow your employees to have the energy to take on necessary change.
CREATE A THRIVING CULTURE
Innovation, collaboration and growth fizzle in burnt out teams. In order to recover and prevent burnout long term, resilience must be integrated into the company culture.
How do we create a thriving culture?
1. Assess the current company values. Do they align with the company purpose, mission, and desired company culture? If not, make revisions and explain why.
2. Re-align company-wide decision making with core values. This spans from hiring to investments and partnerships.
3. Leadership must model these values and regularly recognize actions aligning with core values in staff.
4. Celebrate milestones together and create regular opportunities for staff connection.
A thriving company culture is not only a more enjoyable place to work, it’s more productive, innovative and more profitable. Burnout prevention makes human AND business sense!