Burnout includes emotional exhaustion, cynicism and a lack of professional efficacy. One cause of burnout is excessive job demands. Unrelenting job demands continues to wreak havoc on executives and managers. Excessive job demands exposure themselves in instances where the employee does not have choice, access to support or even when asked to complete two jobs. When job demands are greater than the resources available stress occurs and this can lead to burnout. There are ways to mitigate extreme job demands at both the individual and the organizational level.
Individual Factors To Mitigate Burnout
Individual leaders can work to lessen the threat of job demands through the following:
1.) Resources – Job resources include employee assistance programs, training, peer mentoring and an excellent boss relationship. Ensure that you pursue these resources with regularity to lessen the influence of job demands.
2.) Boundaries – Know what is yours to own and what is not yours to own. Next time, say ‘no’ to something that is good to say ‘yes’ to something that is great. Our culture sends a message that if we are not ‘swamped’ at work we are not worthy. This just is not true.
3.) Mindset – Focus on the progress you have made versus the deficit you see. In other words, we are hardwired to dwell on what is left to be done versus the influence you have made.
Organizational Factors To Mitigate Burnout
Organizations can work with leaders to weaken the influence of excessive job demands in a variety of ways:
1.) Burnout Assessment – Take the Maslach Burnout Inventory at the beginning of every year and at the end of every year. This will provide you will the data to determine who is truly burned out inside your organization and who is not. From there, you can design interventions to help those with burnout recover.
2.) Capacity Analysis – Review the jobs at your company and identify the workload levels with a “Red” “Yellow” or “Green” – The high risk jobs (Red) are the ones you should analyze to ensure the workload is reasonable or if further resources are required. Your attrition in those jobs will also give you enough data to determine resource levels.
3.) Job Responsibilities – A lack of clarity in roles creates stress. The longer a person does not know what their core responsibilities are the greater the likelihood of burnout.
Remember you can recover from burnout. Be sure to tackle burnout at the individual level and the organizational level to ensure your workers are flourishing!