BURNOUT: WHAT CAN I DO AS A MANAGER?

31. May 2016 / general
resilience

Businessman in Suit lets a Balloon burst with a needle

Burnouts often occur among highly (or overly) committed employees who want to please everyone and to do everything perfectly. The extent to which individuals are at risk of a burnout therefore depends on their character and behavioral patterns – but the way employees are managed can also have a significant influence. Line managers can do a great deal to prevent their people from suffering a burnout.

The most important thing for managers to do is to keep their eyes and ears open and to pay attention if the behavior of employees changes. Alarm bells should start ringing if they suddenly make more mistakes than usual or are increasingly withdrawn. What are the typical early signs that employees are at risk of a burnout? Employees such as these:

If employees display two or three of these symptoms, it is time to take action. The problem is that most of those affected don’t want to recognize the warning signs until their body says: Stop! Burnout is a gradual process, even if the actual collapse can then often happen very quickly. My experience with real-life cases shows that burnout is frequently triggered by an acute crisis, e.g. when a person loses his or her job or goes through a relationship break-up. The house of cards, which was unstable to begin with, then comes crashing down.

 

Companies and managers can have an impact

Each individual has a range of options to help them avoid suffering stress or a burnout. However, companies and individual managers also have a major influence on the risk of burnout among their employees.

 

What can be done at company level?

Sensitize managers to the problems of stress and burnout, train them in the early detection of symptoms and in how to address them

 

What can individual managers do to reduce the risk of burnout among their employees?

 

© Claudia Kraaz

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