Burnout is unfortunately all too common in working life. It comes around as a consequence of the mental exhaustion that follows prolonged stress.
In many cases, poor management is a driver for poor mental health at work. These are the areas that, when mismanaged, can lead to burnout:
Unclear or impossible goals
When performance reviews are carried out, employees need to know what their goals are and how they’ll know they’ve achieved them. Ideally, the goals should be SMART; specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time-bound. Without goals, work can seem like an endless grind.
Too little rest
This caused by a poor work-life balance. There may be a harmful culture within the business that values hours worked rather than actual productivity. Sometimes taking holidays is ‘frowned upon’ – both employers and employees mustn’t fall into this habit!
Employees should know they have the right to use their annual leave, and managers should encourage them to take it.
Fear of the consequences
People can become highly stressed due to the constant fear that they’ll be punished if they do something wrong. This can be down to a lack to trust between management and staff – when constructive criticism and training are absent.
Misunderstandings, a lack of clarity, and being unable to share problems with your line manager will contribute to stress, and therefore burnout.
Lack of recognition
Imagine doing everything asked of you to the highest standard, only to be simply told to do it again. And again. It’s demoralising to not be recognised for good work, even when it is simply ‘doing your job’. A simple “thank you” can even make the difference.
Managers can act to make their workforce more resilient to burnout and stress.
Module 5 of our eLearning course, Developing Resilience further explores how to practically introduce resilience into your organisation.
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