so if you haven’t heard, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that
burnout can be medically diagnosed.
Which is pretty crazy if you think about
it, working too hard a medical diagnosis? This is where the lines could become
Burnout is a serious condition. It
completely changes the way your body functions, your mental state and the way
you process emotions. It’s not something to be scoffed at.
For people who have suffered from
burnout, they will tell you it changed everything for them. The way they
worked, exercised, ate, spent time with family and friends. Literally every
I understand a lot of people look at
burnout as something simple to overcome, it really isn’t that simple.
So let’s break it down, what is
It is complete physical, mental and
emotional exhaustion from experiencing prolonged stress.
I have mentioned in previous
articles/blog posts that that stress doesn’t always start off as a negative.
For some people, it can be positive.
The WHO has suggested that you get
burnout from overworking. But what are the causes?
I think we have to look at a lot of different facets to get to the answer.
can cause a lot of conflicts if not managed properly. Whether it’s between
managers and employees or the expectations people put on themselves.
Here’s my experience working with
clients who have suffered burnout, they usually suffer from their own
expectations. Their willing to exceed their any expectation.
Now, I’m not saying that’s always a bad
thing. However, we have to look at what cost? For a lot of top performers,
burning out is their worst nightmare. They will have no choice but to slow
On the other hand, what if managers or
employers expectations are too high. This is something I have also seen. Where
there is simply not enough time in the day to physically do the work. People
can bust their butts trying to reach specific deadlines or targets, which are
I have had one client say they literally
worked 20 hours straight to reach a deadline. Annnnnd did those hours multiple
times. That is a clear indication that the workload was too high.
Not only that, if you are constantly working towards an unachievable goal/deadline/target, switching off is going to be a problem.
2) The 9-5 is DEAD
a dream that was. Coming into work at 9 am and leaving at 5 pm, what a
I have to say I’ve never worked in an
industry where I was able to work 9-5, but hey, it was a thing. Most people I
speak to are working a lot longer than that.
Then with the development of technology,
work hours have dramatically changed. People can check their emails and receive
phones calls at all times of the day.
Technology has given people a lot of
freedom. However, it has also changed the way we work. The hours we work and
how much “downtime” we get.
Not only that, people are programming their brains to react to every sound and vibration their phones make. Creating a new phenomenon where people are always “on”.
People have become incredibly reactionary to their phones. This doesn’t allow them to really switch off if they aren’t proactive about it.
3) Lack of Feeling Accomplished and Satisfied
so this is a little follow on from number one. Let’s think about this
logically. If you are unable to hit your goals, targets or hit deadlines
would you feel accomplished or satisfied? I’m going to take a wild guess and
This is the mental and emotional aspect
of burnout. If you don’t feel satisfied, accomplished or valued continuously,
you will burn out.
A lot of employees who don’t reach their
manager’s expectation (let alone their own) they won’t feel that buzz you get
Can you imagine never being able to relish in any success? It’s pretty bleak if you ask me.
is a HUGE one for a lot of companies. I know countless people who have left
their job burnt out because of the terrible culture.
Working in an environment that’s toxic
is incredibly mentally and emotionally draining.
Trying to hit your targets, deadlines
and goal while managing a toxic work culture won’t keep any good
What we have to remember is stress has a
very detrimental effect on the body. All of those areas can cause stress day in
and day out. This is what causes burnout. The way responds to stress.
Reducing those stressors is the first
Are they the only causes of burnout? No,
there are a lot of other areas when looking at burn out. It doesn’t always come
from work. This is why people need to recognise the warning signs.
I guess my only concerns with burnout being diagnosable now is what are doctors looking for?
The WHO has said they are looking for:
Depletion in energy
2) Increase in mental distance from
3) Reduced professional efficacy
They have also said they need to rule
out other mental health issues. Such as anxiety, adjustment disorders and mood
My personal concern is that anxiety can
be a symptom of burnout.
I hope the handbook on burnout from the WHO will be a little more detailed. Those symptoms are quite generic. There also needs to be more clarification around certain areas.
What are some take-home notes?
is a complicated illness. There isn’t one solution. There isn’t one
Companies will need to take a
personalised approach to how to prevent and overcome burnout for their
Stress is the biggest factor when it
comes to burnout. Finding solutions, investing in education and changing
protocols is important.
A successful business owes a lot of its success to its employees. As such, it’s important to keep your employees happy, productive and eager to work. If at the end of the workday your employees run for the exits, leaving you to turn out the lights then perhaps it’s time to take a look at your employees’ engagement.
What is Employee Engagement?
According to Forbes, employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to the organization he or she works for and its goals. In other words, it means that the employee actually cares about their work and the company they work for. They are not just working for a paycheck or another promotion, but instead, are truly interested in working to help their company meet its goals. And when an employee truly cares, he or she will give their absolute best to the organization and be happy to do so. The result? Better business outcomes.
So when it comes to running a successful business, employers should make employee engagement a priority. Here are five reasons why.
1. Better Engagement Equal Better Productivity
When people really care about something, they truly try their best. And they do so because they want to. This is especially so when it comes to the business world. When employees are engaged at work, they feel an actual connection with the company. They believe the work they’re doing is important and appreciated, so, therefore, they work harder. And when your workers are more productive, your customers are happier and the business is more profitable.
2. Less Employee Turnover
Have you ever worked at a job where you felt like your work was unappreciated? If so, how long did you stay there?
Employees who feel appreciated, respected, needed and wanted are much more likely to enjoy their jobs than ones who feel unappreciated. These are the employees that will be less inclined to look for work elsewhere, and more inclined to do their best work.
In addition, employees who are happy and enjoying their jobs are also more likely to form connections with their coworkers. And a happier team that works well together is a more productive team which in turn leads to a more profitable business. Besides, wouldn’t you prefer to be surrounded by happy workers who enjoy coming to work?
3 Increased Customer Satisfaction
In many cases, it is the employees who are directly involved with the customers. And customers that have a positive experience are much more likely to keep coming back than those who have a negative one.
When your employees are engaged, they are much more likely to be positive and enthusiastic about the company’s product or purpose. They are also far more likely to deliver a positive customer experience than a negative one. We all know that satisfied customers are happy customers. And happy customers will keep coming back.
4 Better Management Teams
Low levels of employment engagement can also lead to negative perceptions of company management. Employees often disengage and stop supporting the management team, and some even lose sight of the company’s mission. The support of the employees is paramount when any business organization wants to grow and innovate.
5 Better Creativity
Another reason employee engagement is so important is because employees who know that their ideas are heard, considered, respected and appreciated, are more likely to come up with new ideas and better solutions. They are creative, excited and driven. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, have little interest in being creative or even contributing to the bigger picture. And who can blame them if they feel that they are not needed and unappreciated?
If you want employees that show up and are involved, not just because they’re paid to be, but because they’re invested, emotionally or otherwise, then employee engagement should be at the top of your list. Engaged employees are more productive and efficient. They are more interested in their jobs, less likely to quit and driven to provide a better customer experience. They are happier at work and in their lives as well. And all of this translates to a better business outcome.
Katie Maycock | Anxiety and Digestive Health Specialist
There has been a lot of talk about burnout, but what
is it really?
Burnout is complete physical,
mental and emotional exhaustion stemming from prolonged stress.
That’s what it means in a nutshell.
Burnout can change everything. The way your body digests, fights off illnesses,
the way you communicate with people and the way you view yourself.
Before I get too heavy, let’s cover
something off really quickly. This stress does NOT have to be negative.
I know, I know. I’m hearing you now
ask yourself “if the stress doesn’t start off as a negative how can it be
I will absolutely answer this in
Stage One Of Burnout.
Before I start, I also wanted to
share some really concerning statistics about burnout.
From a recent Gallup study of 7,500
employees, they found that 23% of those full-time employees have felt burnt out
On top that, 44% also mentioned
they felt burnt out sometimes.
That my friends equate to 2/3’s of
employees feeling burnt out.
Anyone else a little bothered by
Not only that but feeling burnt out also leads to:
A 63% increase in the likelihood of taking a sick day.
2.6 times more likely to resign.
23% more likely to visit the Emergency Room.
That is quite unsettling. Not only for the people who
are suffering but also for companies. A lot of employees who end up burnt out
are top performers, high achievers and the highly motivated.
Losing a top performer to burnout is preventable.
What can we do?
We need to understand the stages of burnout. Burnout
is something that can and does creep up on you. In saying that there are
warning signs. The sooner you recognise those warning signs and understand the
stages, it will become a lot easier to prevent.
Let’s get started.
Stage One Of Burnout: Excitement.
Yes, you read that correctly.
A lot of the time burnout starts
with excitement and optimism. Maybe it’s due to a new job, a new goal, a new
target or even an exciting life event.
This excitement and optimism make
it easier to concentrate, there’s an increase in energy, productivity and
output. 16 hour days? No problems at this stage!
Working overtime? It’s a
Getting up after 4 hours of sleep
still motivated? Absolutely!
Feeling like a superhero? Most
Not taking care of yourself? This
is for certain. However, you still feel great. It’s as if nothing can get in
This is what I call the “I’m
getting addicted to adrenaline” phase. Which is really difficult to break.
Not only that, a lot of people end up getting positive feedback in this stage and they start associating certain behaviours with success. Which is usually not be sustainable.
Stage Two Of Burnout: Let’s Work Harder!
This is when small cracks begin to show. Maybe the
initial energy is starting to wear off.
You are becoming a little tired.
However, you have associated certain behaviours with success. Maybe these
behaviours are working long hours, not resting, working weekends and not caring
Instead of taking this as a warning
sign, you keep pushing through. Fighting to get back to Stage One.
I’ve seen this time and time again.
Instead of seeing this as a sign to rest, people push through.
I was even one of those people.
That’s a different story for another time.
Also in Stage Two, you may start to
see relationships suffer. Loved one become frustrated and this can cause a
strain on significant others.
This is when health issues may
Insomnia and poor sleeping patterns can occur also.
Stage Three Of Burnout: Frustration
You have been fighting a losing battle. You have tried
incredibly hard to get that initial energy and euphoria back, to no luck.
In Stage Three you are becoming
increasingly more frustrated, fatigued and forgetful.
Concentration usually declines,
increasing the likelihood of mistakes. It’s a very vicious cycle.
Not only that, your productivity can slip leaving you impatient and anxious.
Stage Four Of Burnout: Illness and Denial.
This is when your body is starting to really give up.
It’s wanting to tap out and you’re not letting it.
You’ve most likely pushed it past
its limits and your starting to become quite unwell.
From my experience, a lot of the
health issues are from a decrease in immunity, increase in inflammation and
I have seen a lot of health issues
that have arisen from burnout including IBS, intolerances, allergies poor
digestion and severe inflammation. Not to mention an increase in the frequency and
severity of viruses.
However, another phenomenon can occur at this stage, which is denial.
Yes, denial can absolutely happen
at this stage. I’ve seen people blame their health issues on their decrease in
focus and productivity. Rather than seeing it as a symptom.
For a lot of people, it really is
hard to understand how something can from feeling really good to causing so
Not only that, a lot of people don’t want to admit they’re not coping.
Stage Five Of Burnout: Lack of Drive and Apathy.
That original drive and motivation you started off
with are nowhere to be found.
You can become apathetic and
This is when anxiety can really
become an issue.
A little side note, anxiety can be
present at any stage throughout the stages. However, I typically see it more
within the later stages.
And the next thing you know you are in Stage Six.
Stage Six Of Burnout: Burnout Has Me Now.
You are completely and utterly mentally, physically,
and emotionally exhausted.
This is the stage where people quit
jobs or get signed off.
Whether it’s from being overwhelmed
or not physically being able to do the job. Either way, this is when people are
forced to slow down or stop because of burnout.
You might not be able to cope with
simple pressures around you. It’s as if everything is too much.
Burnout can completely change the
way you work, think and feel.
The hardest part about burnout is
seeing warning signs and not doing anything about it.
Not only do I see people do this daily, I personally went through the same scenario.
Take the warning signs seriously. Our bodies are
AMAZING at telling us what we need. All we have to do is listen.
If you are feeling tired, REST.
If you are starting to suffer from
digestive issues, SLOW DOWN.
If you need help, ASK.
All of those things are simple.
For companies, become aware of your top performers.
Understand the stages and look at encouraging your employees to rest.
Encouraging them to switch off.
If you or your company lack the
resources or education, bring in specialist or professional.
Educating yourself on how stress
and anxiety can directly impact physical health is beneficial.
For more information please feel
free to head over to my website, I
have blogs and videos discussing the impact
of stress and anxiety has on the body.
If you would like to make direct
contact, please free to reach out here.
Beatrix A Schmidt | Sleep coach, speaker and author of The Sleep Deep Method.
According to various recent research and survey results, in the UK alone approximately 1 in 3 people struggle with insomnia or other sleep issues.
Why should you care?
At first glance, you might think that poor sleep is an issue for the employee to address at home.
But the knock-on effect of sleep deprivation carries over into the workplace every single day, reducing productivity and decreasing employee engagement.
Mental health and the quality of a person’s sleep are very closely linked.
Lack of quality sleep is also linked to a wide range of cognitive and physiological impairments. From increased stress levels, mental health issues, decreased working memory capacity, and inability to focus on tasks, to increased risk of heart disease and elevated blood pressure – the list is ever-growing.
Sleep issues and the related tiredness during the day eventually leads to individuals failing to function well during the working day, and in their free time. It is a quite simple chain of events that happens for so many employees in today’s busy and demanding society.
The term ‘burnout’ is heard more and more around the corridors of companies everywhere.
The root of this problem stems in tiredness and manifests as a loss of motivation, resilience, and sometimes the onset of depression.
Burnout is avoidable with the right wellness strategy in place.
When loyal and hardworking employees get the support they need to balance their work with their health, they avoid more serious health concerns being triggered.
In turn, the organization experiences better talent retention rates, increased work performance, reduced absenteeism and better teamwork to name a few things.
These are results I have seen repeatedly from working on wellness strategies with organizations and individuals over the years. From CEOs and senior management to support staff; people from all walks of life benefit from healthier sleep at night.
Genuinely restorative sleep helps them with their emotional stability, intellectual capacity, occupational drive as well as their physical health.
If you would like to find out more about corporate sleep workshops and in-house sleep coaching for your employees, get in touch by sending me a LinkedIn message or an e-mail.