“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it- Lou Holtz” Have you ever worked with someone that seem more like the Energizer Bunny than human? It leaves you to wonder: How can they keep up that pace of work? How can they work that many hours in a day? When was the last time they took some times off? It is true there are people that can work an ungodly amount of hours, but eventually what happens to those people- they get burnt out. Burnout is a serious factor that can affect your retention rates if not addressed.
What causes people to burnout and eventually leave the company? Well it can be a lot of different things. It could be the company culture, it could be your leader’s expectations, or it could be self-promoted. Regardless of the reason, employers need strategies in place to combat burnout so that they can retain their employees. This can be done by encouraging employees to take some time off to re-energize. Or create a company culture that boosts the idea of work-life balance, and discourages working an ungodly number of hours in a day/week/month. According to the U.S. Travel Association, “8 in 10 employees say they would be likely to take more time off if their boss encouraged them to do so.”
Before all of this encouragement can happen there needs to trust. Trust that the employee will still meet business needs, and trust that when an employee needs some time, that time will be granted. This trust needs to come from both the leader and the employee. Mary Beth Wynn, the VP of People at Jelly Vision sums it up perfectly, “We leave it up to you to let us know what you need to be healthy and happy. And we leave it to the manager to address the reasonableness. It’s a system that requires trust on both sides.” Before I wrap up this blog post on burnout let’s think for a minute which employees are usually the worst offenders for ALWAYS working- Leaders. As a leader you may think that working all of those long hours is helpful to your team but in reality you can become the root cause of your employee’s burnout.
Leaders set the example for their employee’s and if you have those leaders that are always working what kind of message are they sending out. In order to avoid burnout according to Susan Milligan a freelance writer, is to “Set an example at the top. Regardless of how much you encourage workers to take time off, they’ll likely be afraid to take a break if they see that their managers are always in the office.” In the end, Mary Beth Wynn suggests that the solution is, “for leaders to set an example by taking vacation and personal days with no apology.”
What do you think? Do you feel this paints an accurate picture? Please share your own experience in dealing with burnout.
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