Saturday, June 13, 2020

I got the blues, please come see what your loving means to me (Blondie)

Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash 

Burnout was mentioned in the media this week and was a discussion topic at work.

Got me thinking/wondering. 

As a term, Burnout as a concept is relatively modern it appears.

According to Elizabeth Scott in her excellent article, it was first coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.

Basically, if you feel exhausted, start to feel cynical about your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you are showing signs of burnout.

What with the emergence of Lockdown levels and the adjustment to working from home, then the return to school and a semblance of normality during a 12 week term, no wonder many feel like this year has been endless and we're only in June.  

Relentlessly positive as I aim to be, there are solutions to these symptoms.
  • Providing enough time to do jobs (reasonable deadlines). According to Scott, employees who say they have enough time to do their work are 70 percent less likely to experience high burnout.  
  • Clear communication and support from managers and others. Employees who feel strongly supported by their manager are 70 percent less likely to experience burnout on a regular basis.
  • Role clarity and consultation. As Scott points out, when expectations are like moving targets, employees may become exhausted simply by trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing. Consultation brings buy in and good will.
  • Manageable workload. When a workload feels unmanageable, even the most optimistic employees will feel hopeless. Feeling overwhelmed can quickly lead to burnout.
  • Fair treatment by treating employees equally. Employees who feel they are treated unfairly at work are 2.3 times more likely to experience a high level of burnout. 
Scott's article is well worth a look; it certainly made me reflect and prepare for the remainder of this term and beyond.

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