Here’s a statement that is not much of a news anymore: according to the most recent Gallup study on employee well-being the worldwide cost of burnout treatment reached more than an estimated 190 billion dollars in 2019. The most frequently encountered issues associated with burnout were cardiac arrest, gastrointestinal complications and stroke.
Whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur , the last few years brought an increase of the burnout phenomenon. People end up working too much, or not finding the purpose of their work, thinking too little about themselves and then they collapse. Psychologically, emotionally, physically. That’s what burnout is: a total collapse of the self.
And despite all of that we still live in a culture that tries to ignore burnout. That embraces some sort of denial about it. Because we want and we have to prove things. Because we need to be seen doing something to prove our worth. Unfortunately, we don’t really know when to say ‘stop’. Not even when we’re ill is not easy for us to take 2-3 days off to recover. Even though many illnesses are just a sign of a weakened, over solicited immune system. The stop usually comes just when we collapse or when the damage made to our personal lives becomes unbearable. When we don’t have enough energy anymore for the ones we love or for the activities we love.
Any major imbalance should be a warning sign. We need to learn to work in a sustainable rhythm. This is something that both employees and employers need to understand. We, too often, sacrifice the long run for a short sprint. And when our entire activity becomes a series of short sprints it’s very likely that everything from our health to our productivity and engagement to suffer.
So how can we be proactive in preventing burnout?
Talk about it, address it openly in your team, in your organisation. Don’t let it get to a boiling point.
Assess the level of burnout and measure its impact on the general welfare of both employees and organisations.
As employees remember that your well-being is the most important asset in being engaged, productive and resilient. Take care of and nourish your well-being. Both physical and emotional.
As employers and managers remember that the human capital is the most important asset of any organisation. And then take care of and nourish each and every one of your employees.