Last year the World Health Organisation officially recognized burn-out as an ‘occupational phenomenon’ which is affecting employee wellbeing.
Whilst research by Gallup says that two thirds of all employees regularly feel burnt out.
The WHO defines the problem:
“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
- reduced professional efficacy.
Many organisations are working hard to try and address worker stress levels, but only 25% of employees say they feel their organisation is providing enough mental health support.
Our ‘always on’ culture, technology, and less distinction between work and home life mean that we are working harder than ever before.
And as a result employee mental health problems are on the rise, and in this situation, it’s not only individuals who suffer.
82% of the workers surveyed by AETNA, think that their mental health problems could affect their ability to work, and 69% feel they are expected to do more with less time.
A stressed and strained workforce has a negative impact on everything from morale to productivity and can seriously affect the bottom line.
So, what can we do to reverse this trend?
The World Health Organisation is in the process of developing evidence-based guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace, but there are simple steps that all organisations can take to make 2020 the year we prioritise employee wellbeing.
- Foster an atmosphere of trust
Use the power of vulnerability to help your teams connect, and form stronger connections with their fellow employees. These connections will make people more likely to reach out and admit their problems when they are having a hard time and make colleagues more likely to notice when each other are struggling.
- Help your people evolve their self-awareness
Teams and leaders are having to sustain unprecedented levels of energy and concentration, and I’m noticing that when individuals work on their self-awareness they are more able to cope with the demands of the modern workplace. By focusing on noticing how we and others act in given situations we can find balance and work on being present in the current situation, rather than worrying about imagined future catastrophes. Which brings me on nicely to my next point.
- Take some time to understand
It can be hugely helpful to use mindfulness at work to get a bit of distance and take the personal heat out of a situation. If you can allow yourself the time to look at what’s going on beneath the surface, you might just be able to start to use your head to manage your emotions more effectively at work.
If you would like to talk to us about improving the wellbeing of your people, don’t hesitate to get in touch.