The risk of burnout is high in today’s demanding, constantly connected and always-on work culture. According to a 2017 Labour Force Survey, 12.5 million working days were lost in 2016/2017 due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
The World Health Organization describes stress as the “global health epidemic of the 21st century” and while many stress-inducing qualities of the working world aren’t likely to change, developing resilience within ourselves and our teams can help to improve productivity, morale, and motivation.
Managers need to create a working environment that would help their employees avoiding burnout and building blocks of resilience.
Here are three building blocks we’ve selected:
Recognise change is a constant
It’s not the strongest of species that survives, but the most adaptable to change. Because organizational events like mergers, acquisitions, and functional restructuring are frequent in the professional world, an inability to engage a degree of resilience in the face of change can incrementally derail effectiveness over time.
Executives and employees who work in uncertain and unstable contexts sometimes struggle to develop the psychological and behavioral skills needed for organizational change whilst remaining focused on reaching their work-related goals.
By recognizing change is a constant, individuals and teams can develop resilience in order to acknowledge the challenge without letting it derail success. This skill also supports the ability to step outside of ourselves and engage higher areas of the brain!
Develop self-awareness of triggers to keep stress at bay
The causes of stress-related change, how it shows up, and the tactics needed to combat it are different for different people. It helps to control stress when people understand themselves— how they prefer to communicate, understand their preferences, and recognize that other members of their team have different preferences than their own.
Our ability to cultivate resilience is connected to our ability to recognize our stress signals and manage stress in a pro-active manner, even when faced with reactive levels of change. We are resilient when we understand our own and others’ reactions to the change, and when we are able to recognize when our stress levels are getting too high and do something to change its course.
Learning to acknowledge difficult situations, change your perspective and see the world from an alternate point of view makes it easier not to feel overpowered by your professional demands. By leaning on self-knowledge we can take steps in advance to sidestep its symptoms before it rears its ugly head.
Choose whether to react or respond
Part of resilience comes from the knowledge that you have a choice; you can respond in an intentional way that reduces your stress or you can be victim to your circumstances and react to what is happening around you. As we develop an awareness of ourselves, both professionally and personally, we are able to use the knowledge gained to better respond to our circumstances.
In a way, resilience allows professionals to bring an outsider perspective to any given situation, even when in the middle of a stressful event. Through resilience we are able to ask ourselves things like: What is the worst that can happen? What can I control?
This is important because, without it, we would be limited by our emotional response triggers and constantly exhibiting our ‘bad-day’ behavior. With self-awareness, we can step outside of ourselves and stretch outside of our comfort zone to think differently about how to approach the unexpected or overwhelming.
Helping yourself and your team members better navigate the challenges of the modern workplace is a good investment—not simply because it can make people happier, but because the enhanced skill set translates into real bottom-line results, too. One of the biggest wins for sowing the seeds of resilience within your people and teams is that it can blossom and spread throughout your organization’s culture! As managers, we need to enable our employees to be able to assess every situation, adapt their approach to it, and bounce back bigger and better, with lessons learned for the next time.
How’s your company dealing with potential burnout situation among employees? What’s your take on this? Leave us a comment in the section below and share with us your experience!