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How to manage each of the 5 stages of burnout

0 2 years ago

Even before the pandemic and Great Resignation, employee well-being was a top-ranked trend for importance and that continues today. Simultaneously, a more alarming trend continues to rise as more employees report workplace burnout. Companies must understand this phenomenon, evaluate their risks, and be intentional about lowering and controlling them to protect their people and businesses.

The term burnout is used to describe feelings of being overworked or overwhelmed by one’s working conditions (read toxic work environments, micromanagement, taking on too much, or being asked to do more with less), but it’s actually more intricate than that. The World Health Organization recognizes burnout as a form of job-related stress that has not been successfully managed, although it’s not classified as a medical condition.

There are five stages of burnout that individuals and organizations must assess and then take action to mitigate the progressively worsening symptoms. Analyzing burnout risks is important in all companies, but especially for those in high risk industries like construction, manufacturing, hospitality, and transportation where the resulting diminished self-efficacy, decision-making ability, and lapses in judgment can be fatal.


When taking on new work, it’s common, and even predictable, to experience minor bouts of stress. Stress comes with the newness of a big challenge or career advancement, but most people tend to cope well in this phase as they establish footing and grow into their roles. Company leaders must provide clear expectations, upskilling opportunities, support resources, and a commensurate level of autonomy to help employees manage burnout risks at this level.


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