I was catching up with a colleague recently. After a year of the pandemic and being fully remote, the team was experiencing a number of issues which sounded suspiciously like a recipe for burnout:
- a mass exodus of long time employees
- increased, complex project work and longer hours
- new team members rolling on and rolling off the project regularly
- routine requests to work weekends with no notice
- a limited on-boarding program which required full-time staff to buddy up with multiple new team members to do just-in-time training
The most concerning part of this were the full-time staff who were leaving and taking the project knowledge with them. My colleague explained that people were leaving because they were just burned out. The pleas for organizational changes to address these issues fell on deaf ears.
Toxic workplaces, unrealistic demands and leadership that is out of touch with their employees are a morale killer in the best of times. Over the last year, many employees have been working remotely and “living at work” 24/7. Add to that the increased demands that the pandemic has placed on employees’ personal lives and no wonder there’s an epidemic of burnout in this country. Good employees are overwhelmed by too many stressors coming at them from their workplace.
Employee burnout is a symptom of a “sick” work environment; therefore, the workplace must be addressed in order for its employees to get better.
If you’re struggling with burnout or are also curious about this topic, this upcoming series on burnout is for you. I want to explore this topic so there’s more awareness of what it is and how employees, leaders and organizations can address it.
This series will focus on:
- understanding burnout and its causes
- techniques to give yourself more control over your work (it’s not all yoga and hot tea!)
- what you can do as a manager or organizational leader to incorporate employee well-being in your workplace
- stories of companies that are coming up with burnout prevention strategies and changing their culture to address employee burnout
Do you have a story of burnout to tell? Email me. firstname.lastname@example.org