Got you! You yawned! Yawning is obviously contagious but there might be a big chance you are just really, really, really tired from this week’s work. Friday is here and a few months back, every Thursday you made plans for Friday night and the weekend. And now, the only thing you can think of is going home, put on your pajamas and lay in bed.

So, what happened? High pressure for results? Major changes in your company? Personal conflicts with other team members? Loss of interest?

To fully understand the reasons why, we need to go back to basics.

3 out of 4 employees believe that they have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago.

Which is true. According to research, millennials, who make up half of today’s workforce, are actually workaholics or –as we prefer to call ourselves- work martyrs. Results from more than 19,000 millennials in 25 countries suggest that the 40-hour week is a thing of the past as more than 75% of young people work more than 48 hours per week.

The results are depression, stress, and burnout. 20% of all expenditures by Occupational Accident & Disease branch is attributed to occupational stress & burnout. In Switzerland, a country that moved through the global financial crisis with relative ease, reports that 34.4% of Swiss workers say they face burnout at work, a figure that has risen by 7% in 10 years.

Luckily, a lot of companies and organizations invest in creating a burnout-proof working environment for their employees in order to avoid irreversible situations. However…

What does you organization do to prevent burnouts?

I asked Barbara Wright-Avlitis, Managing Partner at theWrightWorkPlace, to help me understand why -in the year 2017- people feel more and more burned out in their workplace.

“When we talk about burnout, we are talking about a state of mental and/or physical exhaustion whereby an individual has reached a point of diminishing effectiveness on their job, and even possibly in their life, that continues to accelerate in severity unless action is taken to reverse the process.

The more burned out we are, the less effective we are. So, we try harder to get even more burned out. It becomes a vicious cycle. 

Today’s business world often creates a working environment that is heavy with exhaustion, personal competition, stressful deadlines and even burnout. It’s not only the responsibility of the individual to tend to their own Resilience but it’s high time that organizations accept their responsibility to create the right working environment where their people can thrive… in other words, a burnout free work environment. 

A burnout-free working environment needs to be part of the team or company culture.

That’s where Resilience Champions enter the scene. Individuals can influence the behavior and attitudes of those they work with, becoming Champions for a Resilient Workplace. We train people on how to drive the change, how to influence others and how to be an example of Resilience to their co-workers.”

After 6 years of extensive research, Barbara and her team have determined what is necessary for a team or organization if it is going to have a Resilient Culture that will attract top-performers, retain the best employees, and create an atmosphere where innovation and high-performance thrive.

“Those six determining factors are based on behavior – the behavior of the leaders, organisations and the employees towards each other and towards their customers. Our research tells us that the Six Resilience Factors are:

  1. Match the resources with the job demands and expectations.
  2. Give employees a vision and clear objective for making that vision reality. 
  3. Deal quickly with underachievers and toxic people.
  4. Show appreciation & empathy for all employees.
  5. Build work-life balance into your team and company culture.
  6. Improve selection and promotion criteria for leadership positions and train leaders how their behavior can foster Resilience, Loyalty and High-Performance.

Individuals can carry the message into their own team and even further into the organization. They can exhibit resilient behavior themselves and encourage it in others. We have developed a tool that can measure the specific Risk Factors for your specific organization and determine what unique steps need to be taken for your team or organization to be as Resilient as possible and become a burnout-free zone. It’s called the Human Capital Risk Monitor©.”

When I asked Barbara if there are any easy steps or tips and tricks for organizations to avoid burning out their employees, she explained that there are no easy steps. You need to be ready to change in order to see some change. And that’s never easy. But it’s possible.

So let’s assume that managers and employees do want to change. From there on, what can be done?

According to Barbara, there are 3 steps we can take from any position in the organization to create a working environment where everyone can thrive and where burnout can become obsolete.

  • Learn how resilience works and why it’s important. (Also learn what resilience is NOT.)
  • Understand the positive effects of building resilience into your working environment and be able to explain the business case for focusing on resilience.
  • Providing “wellness programs” and engagement activities is not enough. Organisations need to train their managers to be better leaders and to apply resilient leadership by example and in their behavior.
  • Have determination and passion for the topic so you can be an example to others – Resilient behavior is contagious! 🙂

Each company has its own culture that includes goals, roles, processes, attitudes and values. However, when it comes to the employees’ productivity, change needs to happen. When employees under high levels of stress cost up to 40% more than employees with manageable stress levels, change is necessary.

Investing in employee wellness programs, leadership training, increasing workplace harmony and overall employee satisfaction can lead to more engaged workers, less turnover, and many euros saved. At the end, that’s is the whole point of business, right?

To learn more about The Human Capital Risk Monitor© and Barbara herself, you can reach her at bwright@WrightWork.com or www.wrightworkplace.com.

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