Burnout in the workplace is globally considered a risk factor for workers’ health and safety. More specifically, the health care sector is a constantly changing environment, and the working conditions in hospitals are increasingly becoming demanding and stressful. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “a healthy workplace is one in which workers and managers collaborate to use a continual improvement process to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of all workers and the sustainability of workplace.
The ways to success has been laid out long before we were born with little deviation in spite of the tech explosion, and a massive cultural shift which leaves many people asking questions they can’t seem to answer. Our desire for success and happiness, along with a distorted view of what that is, paradoxically, creates significantly more stress for them, you can’t tell me someone’s successful if getting up every morning fills them with dread and yet so many live their life this way. You don’t have to. Burnout should not be your reality.
Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism and ineffectiveness in the workplace, and by chronic negative responses to stressful workplace conditions. A heavy workload, coupled with an unmotivated and unhappy workforce is bound to cause burnout to employees and severely affect productivity in the workplace.
The majority of employees experiencing burnout will remain at work. Being aware of changes in attitudes and energy can help with early identification. Employees may not realize that they are dealing with burnout, and may instead believe that they are just struggling to keep up during stressful times. Stress, however, is usually experienced as feeling anxious and having a sense of urgency while burnout is more commonly experienced as helplessness, hopelessness, or apathy.
The prevalence of burnout is increasing as the lines between being at work and home are significantly blurred.
Now more than ever we are seeing individuals racing from one busy moment to the next before collapsing into bed, then getting up and doing it again tomorrow.
Employees may not be aware of the negative impacts on their performance that this can have, such as increased errors or lower productivity. Employers and co-workers may attribute the changes to a poor attitude or loss of motivation.
The negative effects of burnout can increase significantly before anyone recognizes or addresses the problem and unaddressed burnout can increase the chance of developing clinical depression or other serious conditions such as decreased productivity, increased PTO/sick leave, more errors and workplace accidents and higher turnover rates.
Every employer and manager should be aware of the signs of employee burnout so that they can take actionable steps to help employees before it’s too late. Look for some of these common signs to spot employee burnout: Working more overtime hours than usual, working on the weekends, mood swings, irritability, decrease in quality of work, less socializing and more isolation than usual, fatigue, increase in sick/personal days, disengagement and unusual sensitivity
When it comes to employee burnout, prevention is key. It’s much easier to take steps to prevent burnout from occurring than trying to cure employee’s burnout. Luckily, there are a lot of easy steps employers can take to both help prevent burnout and help employees who are feeling the effects of burnout: Talk about stress, offer flexibility. Encourage time off. cross-train employees and prioritize wellness.
Also, organizations can find ways to reduce workplace stressors that may contribute to burnout by considering implementation of a psychological health and safety management system