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Lately, I am hearing from leaders about burnout. They feel burnt out. Their staff feel burnt out. Clearly, this is reasonable. We have been enduring a global pandemic for over a year. Our personal lives, workplace dynamics, and physical tension add to the stress. Burn out is more than exhaustion though. This medical phenomena occurs when that exhaustion is combined with increased work-related cynicism and decreased self-efficacy. So, basically, you start having negative thoughts about the work, and your ability to do it well.

3 components of burnout:

  • Chronically fatigued as a result of excessive work demands

  • Detached and cynical towards your job

  • Start to doubt your ability to perform a task well

Hopefully, this isn't you under your desk. You might notice signs of burn out - but what is there do it about? So many times, we place the burden of managing burn out on the individual employee. We ask them to cope - take a day off, do some yoga, practice deep breathing. There are actually 6 evidence-based drivers of burn out, according to researcher Christine Maslach.

  1. Workload

  2. Control

  3. Reward

  4. Community

  5. Fairness

  6. Values

So, instead of saying - "if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen!" Maybe, we can say, "what do we need to reduce the heat in this kitchen?"

I work with leaders to examine these six drivers, and clarify ways to engage their employees in promoting workplace satisfaction. A team retreat or workplace assessment are often the first interventions leaders want me to implement - however, there are some much simpler ways to address burn out. Targeting the six drivers allows me to find strategic ways to coach the leader in their action plan.

Are you feeling burnt out? Are your employees?

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