Dealing with burn out at the place of work

Are you concerned that your employer enters the office next morning saying “I think I’m going through a burnout” ?

Often client ask “what do I do then?”.

I want to say that as an employer one can feel pretty lucky when the employee dares to share or announce such a delicate state. Delicate not because of shame or connotations, but because of the vulnerability the person is in when in a burn out cycle. Also, because the boss is often seen as “a contributing factor”.

Hence, when someone comes to you in pre-, plain or post burn-out do use this opportunity with care and candor. It is a magic moment for a humanized experience!

To take this intention further, it helps to:

  • Start by understanding burnout proactively. Managers showing genuine interest in understanding burnout and recognizing it in their workforce are disposed to listen and be a positive factor in an employee’s sustained performance. Managers have a key role to play in creating a context of positive stress that propels employees to growth.
  • Take action. Managers that in addition integrate “stress + rest” routines in support of their employee performance, hold generative conversations and encourage a growth mindset, are already ahead of the curve in terms of embracing compassion and wholistic practices to spur workforce performance and maintain employee well-being.
  • Managers that in addition embody resilient leadership presence are even better place to lead by example and be role models for a high performing workplace and resilient employees.

It’s a promising trend to see managers developing their coach presence. Yet, in spite of the support a coach manager can offer, to handle a burn out case, whether in the pre-, plain or post-crisis phase, they need to liaise with specialised professionals. Hence addressing to specialised structures within the organisation, in full transparency for the employee, to offer specialised support is a judicious step to take. An employee could be encouraged to take this step on its own, if in the conditions for doing so.