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Are Your Employees Experiencing Burnout? Here Are Ways To Help Alleviate Their Stress

Are Your Employees Experiencing Burnout? Here Are Ways To Help Alleviate Their Stress

Psst! Leaders. Are you aware that burnout can be an invisible ticking time bomb for your teams? Here are some interventions you can introduce in the workplace

Research across the globe shows that there has been a dramatic increase in stress and burnout in the workplace, with the workforce in most countries contending with increased costs of living and uncertainty about the future while still trying to perform at previous levels and maintain personal and family relationships.

South Africa is not immune, as many industries are downsizing the number of employees at the cost of people’s ability to take care of and feed their families. Load shedding, a harsh reality, high interest rates, and increasing food and transport prices seem to make the tunnel longer and darker. This reality, at times, forces people to find other sources of income to help keep up with the cost of living, which contributes to workplace burnout and stress.

READ MORE: Signs You Are Burning Out And What To Do About It

Some recent US statistics around burnout indicate that:

According to the Maslach Burnout Inventory, burnout is characterised by:

1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and

3) reduced professional efficacy, meaning low evaluation of one’s workplace performance.

Advaita Naidoo, a leadership expert and Africa MD at Jack Hammer Global, says: “It doesn’t take a leadership expert to recognise how the above can have a severe impact on a company’s wellbeing, culture, and ultimately bottom line, and therefore the need for leaders and managers to consider how they can support employees for the foreseeable future until equilibrium returns.”

She adds that it is neither realistic nor desirable to reduce core deliverables for individual employees. However, what needs to go—and honestly, should’ve gone a long time ago—is so-called ‘busywork’.

Busywork, she explains, is the actions and behaviours which were in the past required for career climbers, but which became de facto ways of working across all levels.

Attending endless and pointless meetings, scheduling meetings that could have been an e-mail, coming in early, leaving late, spending hours on box-ticking writing of reports that disappear into a black hole as soon as they are done, attending evening work functions or weekend team-building exercises… These are but some examples that have become real pain points for employees who are already stretched thin professionally and personally, Naidoo says.

She advises: “If employees are treated as whole people with whole lives, and their boundaries respected—for instance by not expecting them to be always on and available—this will be a start to limiting and containing the extent of burnout individually and within a company, which will in turn ensure greater commitment, loyalty, productivity and engagement.”

Words: Advaita Naidoo

Source: Supplied

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