Burnout seems to be a popular word these days. It is linked to people feeling they can do no more of anything. Yet, we push more and more stuff through brittle systems now. It got me to thinking. When did this burnout begin?
We have always had high, average and just getting by type performers in the market. There is something different underfoot now causing meltdowns at multiple levels in companies. High performers are overburdened in part caused by a concern if they do not ‘do it all’, they will be replaced. Our ability to help average and getting by performers improve is strained by the WFH response to keeping them safe. Disconnecting people from each other seemed like a good idea initially. It seems like we have broken the human chain that supplied energy within our companies.
The type of energy I am referring to is momentum. It is hard to have momentum when there is a lack of motivation. Making things difficult, complex spoils motivation.
Are we able to comprehend the impact of how we have made ‘work’ so much harder? The overwhelming strain of transitioning from a work office to a remote office in your home would have been more than enough to deal with. Then we were forced to change the way we work. Companies pushed out new policies, expectations, and work models. The companies we were used to working with may have been unprepared for the seismic tidal wave that hit it. Think technology, the IRS, supply, pricing and so on. Think dominoes.
Our people were burned out long before the pandemic. Our eyes were closed and now we have created a mental health issue that needs attention.
Concerned about the performance of your people? Want to help them? Analyze their workload. Do you rely consistently on your top performers and overload them? Identify which members of the team have a positive versus a negative mindset in terms of handling life’s challenges. Provide coaching, stress management tools and processes and mental fitness training. Focus on keeping your team a team, one that has healthy individuals who give their best each day because you care.