A new book explains the root causes of burnout and why we won’t solve them without changing work culture.

A new book explains the root causes of burnout and why we won’t solve them without changing work culture.

via the Greater Good by Jill Suttie

Job burnout is on the rise, according to several surveys. People are feeling emotionally exhausted, detached from their work and colleagues, and less productive and efficacious. This makes them more likely to suffer health consequences, need sick days, and quit their jobs.

Not too surprisingly, burnout has become even more prevalent during the pandemic, particularly among health care professionals, causing widespread concern. But, while many employers recognize the problem, they often don’t recognize the solutions, says journalist Jennifer Moss, author of the new book The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It. She argues that employers need to stop blaming employees for not being resilient enough and, instead, change the policies and workplaces cultures that breed burnout in the first place.

“If you want to address the burnout problem, the first step is repeating and internalizing this mantra: Burnout is about your organization, not your people,” she writes. “Yoga, vacation time, wellness tech, and meditation apps can help people feel optimized, healthier. But when it comes to preventing burnout, suggesting that these tools are the cure is dangerous.”

Her book argues that we can better address burnout if we recognize the signs of burnout, understand its causes, and take steps to combat it at its roots. Only by doing so will we really make work healthy, productive, and enjoyable—as it was meant to be.

What organizations shouldn’t do

Understanding what causes burnout can help organizations better match their policies to the needs of their workforces. But too often employers try to offer simple solutions without changing anything substantial.

For example, giving employees on-site perks (like free meals and workout rooms) can backfire, says Moss, as people stay too long at work, missing out on the benefits of being with friends and family. Offering unlimited vacation time means nothing if people feel they can’t take it—or, worse, return to a huge backlog of work after they do. Enforced team-building or holiday parties meant to build social bonds at work can become an added pressure, too, if they take away from employee personal time.

Some employer attempts at preventing burnout fail because they are band-aids to a larger problem or because employees believe that their bosses don’t care about worker welfare as much as productivity. To counter that, organizational leaders should listen to their employees and understand their situation before implementing programs designed to help, says Moss.

Causes of burnout—and how to fix them

In her book, Moss combs through the research on burnout, showing what’s at the heart of burnout…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE