Feeling tired, tense, and taut? So is the rest of the company!

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Burnout impacts work-stress, not vice versa, as previously thought.  A new study in Germany shows work-stress and burnout intensify each other. “This means the more severe a person’s burnout becomes, the more stressed they will feel at work, such as being under time pressure, for example,” said Professor Christian Dormann of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).

Now that managers can’t monitor burn-out symptoms on a daily basis with their people, a crisis is brewing in employee retention. 

“While the most important burnout symptom is the feeling of total exhaustion to the extent that it cannot be remedied by normal recovery phases of an evening, a weekend or even a vacation,” says Dr. Christina Guther (Psychological Bulletin, 12/20), other symptoms include pessimism and reduced performance.”

“To protect themselves from further exhaustion, some build psychological distance from their work, that is, they alienate themselves from their work as well as the people associated with it and become more cynical,”  adds Dr. Guther.

Once aware of this issue, managers can take action. Solutions can include:

               1-Making trust and communication a key point when interacting with employees who are becoming overwhelmed. Active listening and high empathy are needed here.

               2-Pinpoint issues and find out why employees are struggling though anonymous surveys.

               3-Consider introducing social sessions on networking platforms like Teams.

               4-Have an outside stress management consultant on call for them.

According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress costs US companies over $300 billion annually.  Your relationship with your employees is the foundation for a successful and productive organization.

Be the manager who connects with your people in inventive ways!  You have the power to adjust how work is done and your support and attention serves their health and the health of your organization.

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